Mother's gift of life to son

A MAN who has his mother's kidney following a life-changing operation is now looking forward to a brighter future. Richard Archer's life before the transplant involved five sessions of dialysis at his home every week, limiting where he could go and what he could do.

A MAN who has his mother's kidney following a life-changing operation is now looking forward to a brighter future.

Richard Archer's life before the transplant involved five sessions of dialysis at his home every week, limiting where he could go and what he could do.

But the computer programmer underwent the surgeon's knife before Christmas along with his mother, Jenny, after her kidney proved to be an excellent match for her 35-year-old son.

Back at his Harwich home yesterday,, Mr Archer revealed there had been an anxious wait of nearly six days before his new kidney started to work.


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The fact that hospital records showed his mother's kidney was removed at 13.13 on the 13th could have added to the fears - but it ultimately proved a success.

Mr Archer, who is married to Susan, said: “When the kidney went in, it was expected to work straight away because it came from a living body whereas most are from cadavers.

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“It was so nerve racking and also frustrating and later on the professor who did the operation said that he was glad that all transplants don't go the way that mine did.

“The kidney was working for about two to three hours and then just tapered off and they carried out a series of tests before coming to the conclusion it was just sleepy.”

Mr Archer was forced to continue dialysis during the week after the operation, hoping and praying it would still be a success, before his regular blood tests finally showed that the new kidney was working.

Back at home Mr Archer is starting to think about the future and is planning to start a family.

Having had two previous transplants, he knows his gift of life may not last forever, but is determined to make the most of the freedom it has given him.

“Because I have had a period between 1990 and 2003 after a transplant, I appreciate it so much more because I had quite a long taste of life without dialysis.

“I want to get on and do things knowing that at any time life might be curtailed in some way,” he said.

Since the operation, Mr Archer's energy levels have shot up and his senses have improved as the quality of his blood is much better than when he was on dialysis.

“When I was on dialysis I used to be able to tolerate quite hot food such as a very hot curry, but I had a bite of a chilli and it blew my tongue off.”

Unfortunately for his mother, Jenny Whittle, she is the one in more pain after the surgery left her with a lot of bruising.

Mr Archer underwent the operation at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

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