Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Could You Become a Donor to Save a Life like Devoted Mum Sharon's?

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Could You Become a Donor to Save a Life like Devoted Mum Sharon's?

Article excerpt

Byline: ByJames Cain Reporter

A MUM desperately in need of a new kidney today made a heartfelt plea for new organ donors.

Just 15-months ago mum of three Sharon Johnson thought she was fit and healthy until a visit to hospital with a suspected chest infection revealed both her kidneys had failed.

The 45-year-old full-time carer found her life turned upside down as she was added to the transplant list, needing dialysis several times each week.

Now, after four failed attempts to find a matching donor, she is pleading to people to consider becoming living donors.

Sharon, of Bishopton Road, Stockton, had put her tiredness down to the day-to-day pressure of being a full-time carer for son Richard, 26, who has severe cerebral palsy.

She said: "I had a bad cough but I hadn't been to the doctors - I thought it was asthma - but it got worse and worse so I went to A&e. "The doctors asked me if I felt tired, but I always feel tired anyway, so I'd just put it down to everything else.

"I went in there thinking it was a chest infection but after they had done their tests, the doctors told me that my chest had filled with fluid because both of my kidneys had failed.

"They told me that my blood pressure had been that high for so long that my kidneys couldn't cope and that I would be on dialysis within a month.

"I was in hospital for a week - I was devastated. It has been life changing. It's scary. If I don't go to dialysis I'd die, it's as simple as that.

"I could sit there and cry but what good would that do? You can't keep your life on hold."

The NHS say that the average time a person spends on the waiting list for a kidney transplant is about three years.

People with rarer blood groups or tissue types tend to wait longer.

Because of the lack of available kidneys, the fastest way to get a suitable kidney is for a family member or friend with similar tissue type to make a living donation. …

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