When news happens, text KENEWS and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
North Lancashire woman's passport to new life
12:00pm Thursday 14th June 2012 in News
A Kendal man is giving his sister the perfect 29th birthday present – when he donates one of his kidneys to her tomorrow (Friday).
Joiner Mark Williams, 26, was told by doctors that he was the best pos-sible match for his sister Sarah, and the pair will undergo surgery at Man-chester Royal Infirmary.
“This is going to give my sister a better way of life and stop her dying,” said Mr Williams, of Jenkin Rise, Kendal.
“I’m sure she’d do the same for me if the situation was reversed.”
Sarah, who lives at Haws Avenue, Carnforth, with her partner Paul, has suffered from kidney disease FSGS since 2008.
She was told she had the infection after going to see her doctor about swollen ankles.
Her condition deterio-rated two years ago to the point where doctors said she would need a new kidney.
Tests were carried out on her mother, father and partner but it was Mark who proved to be the best match.
Her health has got worse over the past six months and she has been told that 10 per cent of her kidney is functioning.
Her resistance to the disease has meant that she has been able to avoid going on dialysis but without the operation the procedure would be inevitable.
“I’m feeling alright about the operation – I’m more worried about Mark,” she said.
“There’s no benefit for him doing this, he’s just doing it for me and I want people to know how grateful I am.
“It was his birthday last month and I didn’t have a clue what to get him considering what he’s doing for me.”
The siblings say the experience has made them realise that more people should join the organ donor register.
“It really does save lives and until this situation happens people don’t realise how much it means,” said Sarah.
“Even just giving blood can make such a big difference.”
Proud mum Christine, of Castle Grove, Kendal, said: “I’m nervous bec-ause both my children are having an operation. But Mark always said if he could do it he would.”
In the lead up to the operation Mark has had to stay off alcohol, which meant he was unable to enjoy a beer watching England’s opening Euro 2012 match against France on Monday.
The pair were due to go into hospital today (Thursday) and hope to be discharged by Monday or Tuesday of next week.
Lisa Burnapp, NHS blood and transplant’s lead nurse for living donation, said: “Around 40 per cent of all kidney transplants in the UK are now from living donors and the numbers are growing, but we still need more people to sign up to the organ donor register and talk to their loved ones about donation in the event of their death.”
To find out more, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk.