A GRANGE-over-Sands man who has suffered for years without two fully functioning kidneys is enjoying a healthy life again after his devoted wife donated the ultimate gift.

Darren Woodburn, 42, waited for two years on the donor register during which time his health vastly deteriorated and he had to live on a strict diet including only drinking 900ml of liquid a day.

But after a long wait and hundreds of tests his wife Nina Woodburn, 33, was confirmed as a non-blood donor match – beating around one in a million odds.

The couple underwent operations at the Royal Manchester Infirmary two weeks ago and are now recovering at their home in Thornfield Place.

“I was shocked at how good his health is now so quickly after,” said Mrs Woodburn. “The next day he was on his feet - full of life. I wasn't nervous at all before I went in. I was just looking forward to getting Darren back to full health again.”

One of the many pleasures Mr Woodburn is able to enjoy again is drinking a full cup of water.

Among their future plans the pair plan to go abroad on holiday in the new year. They can both start full time employment again, which Mrs Woodburn said they were looking forward to.

“I have felt really emotional since I've come out, I keep crying. They're tears of happiness though,” said Mrs Woodburn. “My body is getting used to only having one kidney so I feel a bit worn down.”

The couple want to raise awareness that even if people do not have the same blood type they can still donate an organ to someone. “I feel closer than ever to Darren now. To see him fit and healthy again has made this all worth it,” said Mrs Woodburn This was Mr Woodburn’s second transplant. His first lasted for 20 years before he found that his health deteriorated rapidly with a loss of energy and a daily restriction on what he could eat and drink.

While waiting for the operation he had to undergo gruelling dialysis sessions which took a full day once a week.

To sign up to the donor register online go to www.organ-donation. nhs.uk/ukt/RegistrationForm.do