A pair of selfless people from our county, including one from Banburyshire, are among the first cohort of people in the nation to donate a kidney to a complete stranger.
NHS Blood and Transplant revealed this week that 500 people in the UK have now donated a kidney to a stranger as a living donor in the ten years since the law was changed to allow this.
And among this compassionate group of generous donors are a man and woman from Oxfordshire who have both donated one of their healthy kidneys to a stranger.
It is technically known as ‘non-directed altruistic’ living kidney donation.
One of the donors is Roger Corke, 61, a TV journalist from near Banbury, who donated a kidney at Guy’s Hospital, London, two years ago.
The other is 25-year-old Amy Hyam, a student nurse from Brize Norton, who donated at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital in 2014.
Mr Corke said: “Donating a kidney was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
“I would encourage anyone to consider if they could volunteer to do the same.”
Amy said: “There are more than 5,000 people waiting for a kidney in the UK and around 300 people die each year in need of one. Donating a kidney has been the best decision I‘ve made in my life so far.
“The knowledge that I’ve made such an undeniably positive contribution to someone else’s life has not only helped them but has given me an overwhelming sense of well-being.
“I’m proud and happy to be included in the 500.”
Any healthy adult can volunteer to be assessed as a living donor and a kidney from a living donor is the best treatment option for most patients with kidney diseases.
The donor goes through a thorough assessment over several months to ensure they are fit and healthy enough and that the risk to them is as low as possible.
If approved, they are matched with a suitable recipient from the transplant waiting list.
Bob Wiggins, chairman of the Give a Kidney charity which raises awareness of non-directed kidney donation, said: “We’re encouraging everyone to consider if you could share your spare.
“Many people still don’t know that any healthy adult can volunteer as a living donor.
“As a result of people like Amy and Roger, many hundreds of lives have been changed for the better.
“Not only that, but together this group has already saved the NHS tens of millions of pounds over the cost of keeping the recipients of their kidneys on dialysis treatment.”
Lisa Burnapp, lead nurse for living donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Nearly 300 people died waiting for a kidney transplant last year.
“Living donation is highly successful, and hundreds of people have had their lives saved and transformed in reaching this milestone over the past decade, thanks to the incredible generosity of these donors. for a transplant.”
People wishing to consider donating a kidney to someone as a living donor can find out more here