Welwyn Garden City woman gave kidney to a stranger

PUBLISHED: 15:54 04 October 2016

Kay Mason

Kay Mason

Archant

A generous Welwyn Garden City woman is among the UK's first 500 people to donate a kidney to a stranger.

NHS Blood and Transplant has revealed that 500 living donors have now donated in the 10 years since the law was changed to allow this.

Among those, is Kay Mason, 72, of Welwyn Garden City, who gave one of her kidneys in what is known as non-directed (altruistic) living kidney donation.

Kay, who is retired, donated her kidney in 2007 at the Royal Free Hospital,London.

She said: “When I donated my kidney almost ten years ago the programme was in its very early stages. It’s great to know that 500 people have now been inspired to do the same and will have changed many lives up and down the country. Nine years on my kidney is still doing very well, as am I.”

Any healthy adult can volunteer to be assessed as a living donor and a kidney from a living donor is the very best treatment option for most patients with kidney diseases. The volunteer donor goes through a thorough assessment over several months to ensure they are fit and healthy and that the risk to them is as low as possible.

If approved, they are matched with a suitable recipient from the transplant waiting list, or they can also enter into a sharing scheme which enables one non-directed donor to potentially ‘trigger’ up to three transplants.

Bob Wiggins, chairman of charity Give a Kidney which raises awareness of non-directed kidney donation said: “We’re encouraging everyone to consider if you could share your spare. Many people still don’t know that any healthy adult can volunteer as a living donor. As a result of people like Kay, many hundreds of lives have been changed for the better. Not only that, but together this group has already saved the NHS tens of millions of pounds over the cost of keeping the recipients of their kidneys on dialysis treatment.”

Lisa Burnapp, Lead Nurse for Living Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “Nearly three hundred people died waiting for a kidney transplant last year.

“Living donation is highly successful, and hundreds of people have had their lives saved and transformed in reaching this milestone over the past decade, thanks to the incredible generosity of these donors.

People wishing to consider giving the gift of a kidney to someone as a living donor can find out more at www.giveakidney.org

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