Live donor transplant bonds friends for life

A live donor transplant has cemented the relationship for ever between two lifelong friends.

Maureen Graham was diagnosed with kidney disease 20 years ago and had been on dialysis for the last 11 years. Receiving dialysis at home every day with support from her husband David, Maureen’s life was severely curtailed and the crucial process of hooking up to her life saving machine was having a serious effect on her body.

59-year-old Maureen, said she was living an “existence - not a life.”

Lifelong Friends - Maureen on dialysis

Two things were going to change all that. The first was when her close friend for more than 45 years, Del, agreed to be tested and was a positive match with the potential for becoming a “living donor”.

The second element was the part played by Dr David Kingsmore of Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and his expert surgical team.

The test results were good for a match and Dr Kingsmore, Maureen’s consultant for the past 11 years, took on the job of explaining the risks to both Maureen and her dear friend Del who would agree to have one of her kidney’s removed.

He said: “It is vastly more stressful to do a live donor transplant as two people are putting their lives on the line. One starts of very fit and healthy but puts their life is on the line to make a difference to someone else.

“Not only do we have to think about the person receiving the kidney but also the person who has put their life on the line to give them the opportunity to receive it.”

Lifelong Friends - Maureen and Del

The transplant team performed the two surgeries simultaneously with Consultant Transplant Surgeon, Dr Marc Clancy, removing Del’s kidney, and Dr Kingsmore transplanting it very quickly to Maureen.

After a long wait Maureen finally had the kidney she needed, donated by her best friend, Del. Both women went home to recuperate and prepare to start enjoying a full and active life again.

The new facilities made available to the kidney transplant surgical teams in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital have dramatically enhanced the service they can deliver to patients. Within three days of moving in to the hospital, transplant surgeons carried out a record six kidney transplants in 24 hours.