A RETIRED York GP has told how he underwent a successful kidney transplant at the age of 75 - with kidneys from a 71-year-old woman.

Walter Stockdale, who worked at the Jorvik Medical Practice for more than 30 years until he retired in 2000, spoke out after reading in The Press about a young woman who needed a third kidney transplant to get her life back on track.

Karyn McColl, 27, of The Mount, suffered kidney failure as a child because of an auto-immune disease and had transplants from both her father and stepmother which enabled her to enjoy years of healthy life before eventually failing, leaving her back on dialysis. She now needs a kidney from a stranger and appealed for more people to sign up to the organ donor register.

York Press:

Dr Stockdale, of Acomb, contacted The Press to say he wanted to respond to the article, as it was now 11 months since he himself had had a kidney transplant and all was going really well, even at the age of 76.

He said it had been a ‘rocky road’ after a big, six-hour operation, but he now had 50 per cent kidney function -better than many 76 year olds enjoyed.

Having suffered kidney failure because of blood pressure problems, he had felt increasingly tired and out of breath in recent years, and less able to go walking with his wife Pauline.

He had been about to start undergoing dialysis last spring, having been on the national waiting list for a transplant for about five months, when he got a phone call from St James’ Hospital in Leeds in April to say a suitable match appeared to have been found and the operation went ahead.

Now he had just returned from a walking holiday in the Lake District. “I feel so well,” he said.

“The point I would like to make is that I received two kidneys from a 71-year-old lady who I don’t know and lived at least four hours away from York.

“I am really grateful to this lady and her family, who agreed with this transplant from their mother following her death.

“I don’t think it is generally known that organs can be transferred at almost any age and it would be lovely if families could discuss and agree this, before family members die from whatever cause.

“There is a great need for more kidney and other donors. None of us knows if and when we might be grateful to receive such a generous gift.”

*People can join the NHS Organ Donor Register by going online to www.organdonation.nhs.uk or by phoning 0300 123 23 23.