A man from Carlton has given his best friend of over ten years the ultimate gift – his kidney.
Nicola Rose, 39, was diagnosed with kidney disease five years ago. At first she was able to continue to live a relatively ordinary life but, over time, her kidney function declined and she became dependent on dialysis.
When it became clear that a kidney transplant was her only option her best friend Scott Christian, who has known her since they met at work ten years ago, offered her one of his.
The Carlton man said: “I said I would do it without any hesitation really. I wanted to see her better and back to the way she was. It was horrible to see her so poorly.”
The operations took place on October 18 at Nottingham City Hospital and the pair, who describe themselves as “like brother and sister” are recovering well.
Consultant Transplant Surgeon Sam Dutta, who performed the operation on Scott, said: “Friend to friend donations are rare but perhaps not as difficult as people may think.
“To donate a kidney to another person you only need to be fit and well and have two good working kidneys. You do not have to be a tissue match or have the same blood group. It is an excellent option when there are no suitable family members to donate a kidney.”
Nicola said: “It still feels very surreal not to have to be hooked up to dialysis every night.
I can’t describe how it feels that Scott has been willing to do this. I will never be able to thank him enough.”
After being diagnosed with kidney disease in 2012 Nicola’s health gradually declined and in January last year she was placed on the organ donor register. From March onwards her health declined rapidly and she went on to dialysis in July.
She spent months on dialysis – trying two different kinds before finding one that suited her, but it meant being hooked up to machinery for seven hours every night.
She said: “It was a very difficult time. You’re very much tied to the house and you feel like you’re just existing, not really living.”
Scott, 31, said: “Seeing the difference in her just emphasised why I wanted to do it.
“We have vowed that we are going to celebrate October 18 for the rest of our lives.”
The pair have even given the kidney a name. Scott said: “We’ve called it Bertha. When Nicola sent me a birthday card she signed it from her, her dog Molly and Bertha!”
Mr Dutta added: “At Nottingham City Hospital we have been performing transplants across blood group barriers for many years with excellent results. Our Transplant Coordinators, Karen Stopper and Anne Theakstone work tirelessly to make such complex operations take place.
“Karen organised weeks of rigorous treatment for Nicola in preparation for the transplant, as directed by Consultant Nephrologist Dr Gavin McHaffie . The whole process of removing Scott’s kidney with a keyhole operation and attaching it into Nicola is a technically complex process with lots of surgical and medical challenges. I am pleased that it has gone smoothly.
“It is fantastic to see them both doing so well.”
Anyone who is interested in knowing more about donating a kidney to a friend or a family member can call our Transplant Coordinators on 0115 9691169 ext 59405.