Sister's gift of life to her brother
By Ted JeoryA LOVING sister has given the gift of life to her brother - by donating one of her kidneys to save him.Beverley Oxford, 50, a Colchester borough councillor, is recovering at home after an operation to give one of her kidneys to her elder brother, Martin West.
By Ted Jeory
A LOVING sister has given the gift of life to her brother - by donating one of her kidneys to save him.
Beverley Oxford, 50, a Colchester borough councillor, is recovering at home after an operation to give one of her kidneys to her elder brother, Martin West.
“As children we were very close - he was my big brother. He looked after me then and it was my turn to look after him,” she said.
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Mr West, of Blackheath, Colchester, was diagnosed with duplex kidneys several years ago and for the past year he had been relying upon a peritoneal dialysis bag implanted in his stomach to stay alive.
The 53-year-old had been due to have a transplant from his sister a few years ago, but complications and anxiety forced him to pull out.
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Although on medication, his condition was deteriorating and Mrs Oxford said her brother “didn't have long left”.
The High Woods councillor said tests revealed her kidney was a perfect match for her brother. They went to hospital on July 18 and the operations took place the next day.
Mrs Oxford, from Colchester, stayed in hospital for 10 days, but was then readmitted after developing a toxic reaction to her morphine medication. Finally, the pair came out together at the end of July.
“It's all been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. What we've done hasn't really sunk in yet,” she said.
“Everybody says I've been brave, but I don't see it that way at all - he needed the kidney and I had one spare.
“You function perfectly well on one anyway and the risks are minimal. Martin didn't have long left and, yes, I have saved his life.”
Mr West, a scaffolder, is now on anti-rejection drugs and has to go to renal clinic at Ipswich Hospital for regular check-ups.
He said: “I feel brilliant now. It's as if I've been wading through fog all my life - I feel so alert.
“I postponed the operation once, but when the doctor says you have to have the transplant, you listen.
“Beverley has saved my life and I can't tell you what it means. She was fantastic, she had no hesitation in agreeing to donate.”
Mr West said his life would return to normal and vowed to be back at work within three months.