A NORTH Yorkshire woman is finally set to be given a new kidney – after her husband agreed to give one of his to someone else.
Karen Williams, from Thirsk, has been on dialysis for 12 years after her kidneys failed, waiting for a suitable donor to be found so she could undergo a transplant operation.
She has had to go to hospital three times a week for treatment, meaning she has had to give up work and has been unable to have a holiday.
Now an unknown donor has offered their organ, on condition someone she knows gives one in return, and Karen’s husband, Jez, has duly agreed to donate one of his.
The arrangement is known as a paired or pooled kidney donation, under which a living donor gives their organ in return for someone else donating theirs.
Karen’s operation, giving her a new lease of life, is due to take place next Monday at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
The couple and their two daughters say their thoughts and thanks go out to the unknown donor who is helping Karen out.
Mrs Williams said: “Hopefully, it’s going to give me my life back, so I can do more things, go out to work if I want to and be able to my own housework and run about after the grand-daughter.”
She said of her husband: “He is brilliant – one in a million. There’s not many people would have done what he’s done. To donate one of his kidneys to someone that he doesn’t know is fantastic, it really is.”
Mr Williams said his message to the person donating a kidney to his wife was: “Thank you so much. You have changed somebody’s life – given them a new life. To do that, to be willing to do that, is just fantastic.”
He said he had happily volunteered to give a kidney. “She is my wife — the mother of my children,” he said. “Anyone would do it for someone they loved.”
• The Press launched its Lifesavers campaign in late 2009 to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and to recruit thousands more donors.