Stranger's organ gift 'changed my life'

A WOMAN who was donated a kidney by a complete stranger after he read an appeal has said the transplant has transformed her life.

Jonathan Barnes

A WOMAN who was donated a kidney by a complete stranger after he read an appeal in the EADT has said the transplant has transformed her life.

Wendy Adams, 44, made a desperate appeal for a donor last August after her one remaining kidney started to fail.

The former Suffolk schoolgirl, who had to be hooked up to a dialysis machine for nine hours every night, knew the chances of a match were remote because of her rare blood type.

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But she was overwhelmed when businessman Tim Rowles, from Leiston, read the appeal and offered to donate a kidney.

The 46-year-old flew over to Wendy's home in the Netherlands, discovered he was a suitable donor and the two underwent their operations at a hospital in Leiden, near Amsterdam, just before Christmas.

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Three months on, Wendy, a clothing designer, said she was regaining her energy and putting on weight and had returned to work and was thinking about getting married.

“My general all-over health is super-improved,” she said.

“I just feel so more energetic and I can see myself putting on weight again. I look back to a month ago and I have so much more energy.

“I've always been active and it's great to have that kind of energy again. I went out the other day and did a 20-mile bike ride.

“I've been able to go out in town and not think about having to take a machine with me - it's just great.”

She said she had returned to work three days a week and was talking to her partner, Gary Leatherland, about marriage “on a daily basis”.

Wendy, who grew up in Martlesham and went to Ipswich High School for Girls, said there had been some side-effects to the operation, and she had to inject herself with insulin after contracting diabetes, which she was warned may happen.

But she said having a new kidney was “even better” than she had imagined. “The first three months are the most important time, with the most danger of the body rejecting the kidney, so I'm pleased to be through that.”

Wendy, who lives in Haarlem, said she had stayed in touch with Tim, who is managing director of Euro Labels in Saxtead, by email and they hoped to meet up soon.

“I'm so happy at how it has worked out. I sometimes think that if the EADT wasn't around, what that would mean. It leaves me speechless.”

Tim, 46, who is married with a teenage daughter, said: “If I could do it again, I would. I got so much more out of it mentally that I was expecting. I knew it was a good thing to do but I didn't expect to feel quite so euphoric. It's very fulfilling and such a nice feeling, especially how it has worked out. If anyone is considering being a live donor they shouldn't be afraid.”

n For more information about becoming a kidney donor please contact Kidney Research UK at or call 0845 070 7601.

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