Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Eight Lives, One Day, Four Hospitals.A Miracle; Husband to Help Save Wife in Pioneering Surgery

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Eight Lives, One Day, Four Hospitals.A Miracle; Husband to Help Save Wife in Pioneering Surgery

Article excerpt

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

COMPLEX swap op surgery is set to save strangers' lives, including this Tyneside mum.

When Andrea Keys was told her kidneys were starting to fail, husband Stuart jumped at the chance to help by donating one of his own.

Unfortunately the pair, from Throckley, Newcastle, were not a match, but Stuart still has the opportunity to help Andrea - and save a stranger's life at the same time - through an extraordinary fourway 'kidney swap.'.

The exchange will see eight patients go under the knife in a series of interlinked operations - performed in a single day at four different hospitals, with four organ donors and four recipients. Andrea's health problems began at the age of 14 when she was diagnosed with Wilson's Disease - a genetic disorder which results in a build-up of copper in the body.

"She was told that without a liver transplant she would be dead within three weeks," said Stuart.

The transplant was successful, but in a cruel twist the medication Andrea was given to stop her body rejecting the new liver then started causing her kidneys to fail.

It also caused her to develop arthritis, forcing her to quit her job as a groom, and leaving her in need of a total knee replacement on both legs.

Stuart, 41, said: "It's very difficult to get your head round - the medicine has kept her alive but it's made her worse at the same time."

Four years ago Andrea, also 41, began feeling unwell and lethargic, and was eventually told she was suffering kidney failure and would need another transplant.

She currently spends hours a day hooked up to a dialysis machine at home as she waits for the life-saving operation - a process which leaves her constantly tired.

Stuart offered to donate one of his own kidneys to his wife of 17 years, but tests revealed he and Andrea weren't a match for a transplant. …

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