Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Abigail Nicholson

Parents floored by daughter's suggestion to save dad's life

A mum of two gave her own dad a "second chance at life" by donating one of her organs.

Alan Jones, 68, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in his mid-20s and until two years ago he had led a normal life. However, when his kidney function severely deteriorated he was told his best chance of a long-term quality of life was to receive a kidney from a living donor.

After doctors explained to Alan's daughter, Kirsty Poole, living donor organ would have many advantages, including working almost straight away after surgery and lasting longer, the thought of donating her own kidney crossed her mind.

READ MORE: Builder who tried to lure girl into van and nearly killed teacher in knifing wanted by police

Kirsty, a GP in Knowsley said: "Lee [Kirsty's husband] suggested I chat with the living donor co-ordinator at the Trust, Ann. She was so helpful in not overwhelming me with information and I read some case studies on living donation on the NHS Blood and Transplant website.

"Ann also advised I could get tissue type blood test to see if I was even a good match before committing to anything.”

The match was so good that Kirsty decided to speak to her parents about the idea – who were taken aback by their daughter’s decision.

She said: “They were anxious but pleased. They were asking me if I was sure about surgery - what about the kids, what about Lee? But I wanted to do it, so we proceeded with all the investigations, scans and blood tests.

"After about six months we were told it was definitely doable and my dad tested well enough to receive the transplant. I remember Ann calling me at work and giving me a date that was three weeks later. It suddenly felt very real.”

Kirsty and Alan were brought into the Royal and spent time with each other the night before the procedure. They had made the decision to not see each other the morning of surgery, but Alan couldn’t resist slipping in to give his daughter one last hug before her operation.

Kirsty said: "It was very emotional, but all the staff were very and kind and supportive, especially my anaesthetist, Dr Nirmal Daniel. I remember waking up in recovery and couldn’t believe it was all done. I was relieved I was ok, but anxious to know how dad was doing.

"Our surgeon, Mr Sanjay Mehra, later came in to tell me it had all gone fine, which gave me lots of reassurance. It was a huge relief to see dad the next day. You could already tell the difference the kidney was making, he looked good considering how ill he had been."

Nearly 10 months on from the transplant, Alan, a retired firefighter, has been recovering well and is back to doing the things he loves. The effects of renal failure had prevented him from walking longer distances, or gardening without significant fatigue, but now the grandfather has his life back on track.

Kirsty said: “My parents are even planning on travelling abroad next year. It’s such a blur now, sometimes you forget about it until someone asks how I am feeling, or my dad.

“The overriding message for me was this was the best chance we have as a family and that fuelled me throughout the whole process. It’s left me with a sense of achievement and an overwhelming sense of relief. I am so proud of my dad.

“The whole family had a lot to gain from a successful transplant. Dialysis would have been life-altering – and my parents deserved a second chance at life, to have their independence back.

"They’ve done so much for our family. I have no regrets donating my kidney. I’d do it again tomorrow.”

Currently, there are over 100 patients at Liverpool University Hospitals on the transplant waiting list and many more on dialysis.

From April 2021 to April 2022, the Trust carried out 49 kidney transplants, eight of which were from living donors like Kirsty. However, many patients are waiting for a transplant from a deceased donor – making it vital that your family is aware of your organ donation decision if you die.

Mr Sanjay Mehra, Clinical Lead and Consultant Transplant Surgeon, said: “Although the new organ donation law, also known as Max and Kiera’s law, was adopted in 2020 so that adults are ‘opted-in’ to organ donation unless they state otherwise, the family wishes are still taken into consideration before any decision is made. It’s so important that you share your wishes with your loved ones, so they are clear on your views.

“Not everyone is able to find a living donor like Kirsty and Alan. Also, if you are from a BAME (Black and Asian Minority Ethnic) community, often the wait can be considerably longer as there are a lower percentage of organ donations. Having this simple conversation about your decision can save someone’s life.”

Organ Donation Week is taking place Monday, September 26 - Sunday, October 2, if you would like to find out more information visit their website


Builder who tried to lure girl into van and nearly killed teacher in knifing wanted by police

Landlord ripped out tenants' toilet after rent wasn't paid

Anthony Walker killer Michael Barton to be freed from prison after 17 years

Woman attacked and raped by stranger in hospital car park

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.