Woman’s life transformed after living kidney donation by mother and stranger

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A woman who suffered acute kidney failure has been given a new lease of life after a living donation made possible by her mother and a stranger.

Seyda Oates, from Glasgow, contracted bacterial meningitis in 2019 and went on to suffer acute kidney failure.

She was given a 5% perfect survival rate and had to undergo double leg amputation to save her life.

The 24-year-old was put on haemodialysis to help her kidneys function and was put on the waiting list for a transplant in late 2020.

Seyda Oates was on dialysis for her kidney (Seyda Oate/PA)

Five months on from her own transplant in July 2022, the 24-year-old has spoken of her gratitude to her mother, who donated to the person she anonymously matched with a month later.

She said: “From my mum’s perspective, she was just focused on helping me. She is living with one kidney, for me. I know most parents would do anything to stop their kids suffering, but I’ll never stop being grateful.

“I don’t know who donated their kidney to me, but I matched this angel. The early signs are good, I have a good kidney which will hopefully last me for the rest of my life. It’s just awesome, and I hope on some level they know what they’ve done for me.

She added: “People always ask me what was harder – losing half of my body or having to go through dialysis. I’m not joking when I say losing my legs was nothing compared to living with kidney disease.

“The only thing I can’t do with prosthetics is run, jump or walk too far, but I’ve learned to accept it.  I would do anything to prevent having kidney disease because it was so hard.”

It comes as research has revealed that four out of five people would consider donating a kidney to a family member.

The figures, released by Living Donation Scotland, also found that almost half of people (48%) stated they would likely consider a living kidney donation to a friend, with 13% saying that they would donate a kidney to someone they did not know.

A living kidney donation plays a vital role in increasing donation and transplantation rates in Scotland, with a kidney from a living donor generally offering the best outcomes for patients in need of a transplant, the organisation said.

Only 23% of people in the survey of 1001 Scottish adults were aware of the fact those who receive a kidney from a living kidney donor have a better longer-term outcome than if they receive from a deceased donor.

Jen Lumsdaine, Lead Nurse, Living Donation Scotland, said: “Through raising awareness that living kidney donation is an option, the hope is that more patients living with kidney failure can avoid or reduce the time they have to spend on dialysis and have a better quality of life.

“A healthy person can lead a completely normal life with one kidney, and anyone can volunteer to find out more about donating, but it must be something they choose to do and feel comfortable doing.

“Living donation is an exceptional gift, and although Scotland has an opt-out system of deceased organ and tissue donation, living kidney donation continues to play a vital part in improving transplant numbers, so more lives can be saved and transformed.”

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