Wife to give unusual Valentine's gift

A WIFE is giving the ultimate romantic present to her husband on Valentine's Day this year - she is donating her kidney to him.David Day, 51, of Colchester, has polycystic kidney disease and needs half-an-hour of dialysis four times a day.

By Juliette Maxam

A WIFE is giving the ultimate romantic present to her husband on Valentine's Day this year - she is donating her kidney to him.

David Day, 51, of Colchester, has polycystic kidney disease and needs half-an-hour of dialysis four times a day.

There is no cure for the disease, which causes cysts on the kidneys, leading to bloating, high blood pressure and kidney failure.


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With a kidney transplant Mr Day should no longer need dialysis - which he does himself - even when he is at work as a digger driver with Brett Aggregates.

Two years ago, when Mr Day's kidneys failed and he started dialysis, his wife, Caroline, 47, said she would like to donate one of her kidneys to him.

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A round of tests and counselling started and just after Christmas last year the news came through that Mrs Day's kidney was an exact match for her husband.

The pair are due to go to Addenbrooke's hospital, Cambridge, for their operations on Valentine's Day.

Surgeons hope to carry out the procedure simultaneously in adjacent theatres.

Mrs Day's operation should take a couple of hours, while the transplant will probably last four or five hours.

Their daughter, Charlotte, 20, has got a week off work to look after her parents.

Mr and Mrs Day will then need a couple of months off work to recuperate.

Polycistic kidney disease is inherited and has affected Mr Day's father, brother and the couple's 22-year-old son, Robert.

Mrs Day, who works at Tesco's in Highwoods, said: “Some doctors say why not donate the kidney to my son, but he might not be affected for 20 or 30 years and in the meantime something might happen to me.

“If my husband doesn't have mine what will he do? Nobody else in the family is a match.

“I didn't even notice the date was Valentine's Day. It was my son's girlfriend, she said: 'It's Valentine's Day. What a lovely present.'

“We've never given each other Valentine's presents or cards apart from this time.

“I wish it had been last January when it was our silver wedding anniversary.”

Addenbrooke's hospital consultant transplant surgeon Neville Jamieson said: “We are delighted at this act of kindness and generosity on the part of the wife and it's very appropriate that they are coming to hospital on Valentine's Day.

“Living donation of kidneys is becoming much more common in the UK, although initially it used to be limited only to direct blood relatives.

“It's now becoming increasingly common for transplants to take place between married couples.

“The results of living donor transplants are generally excellent.”

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