Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Transplant Dad Has His Benefits Stopped; Foodbank Agony of Man Who's Awaiting New Donor

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Transplant Dad Has His Benefits Stopped; Foodbank Agony of Man Who's Awaiting New Donor

Article excerpt

Byline: KATIE DICKINSON Reporter katie.dickinson@trinitymirror.com @KATIEJDICKINSON

A YOUNG kidney patient who made history when he had his first transplant at the age of three has been forced to resort to foodbanks after his disability benefits were stopped.

Alex Crawley spends four hours at a time hooked to a dialysis machine to stay alive as he awaits his third life-saving transplant.

The 29-year-old says being in hospital three days a week and the exhausting effects of the treatment have left him unable to work for the past seven years.

But he and his young family have been plunged into crisis after he was deemed fit to work under government benefit reforms and rejected for the new Personal Independent Payments (PIPs).

His plight mirrors that of the fictional Daniel Blake, the central character of Ken Loach's Newcastle-set film I, Daniel Blake, which won a Bafta for outstanding British film on Sunday night.

Alex was diagnosed with dysplastic kidneys at the age of three and was gifted his first transplant by dad Andrew in 1991.

I used to chef and other jobs weren't about how I needed to Alex He was one of the youngest children to have a kidney transplant when he had the procedure at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. But in 2007 he had to undergo another transplant after going into renal failure again.

Sadly the second kidney did not last long and Alex has been on the waiting list for seven years, going to Newcastle's Freeman Hospital for dialysis three times a week as the search continues for a new donor.

"The treatment completely drains me - I have no energy," he said.

much time have off Crawley "When I get home from hospital I have to go straight to bed and I'm pretty much out of action the next day as well.

"I struggle with simple day-today tasks, and there are severe time restrictions when you're going back and forth to hospital.

"I used to work as a chef and I've tried other jobs but they weren't understanding about how much time I needed to have off. …

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