Anne: I donated my kidney to a stranger so my brother could come off dialysis

Anne, 51, donated into the UK Living Kidney Sharing Scheme in order to allow her brother to receive a kidney transplant. She shares her story below.

I am a mother of two children – Liam who is 28 and Nicole, 26-years-old. I am married to my husband Olly and we all live in the small town of Yate just outside Bristol. I am the second eldest of four children. I work as an Administrative Assistant in a local School.

My younger brother, Ross, was on the NHS waiting list for a kidney and so needed to be on daily/nightly peritoneal dialysis. As a family some of us were tested to see if we were a match for Ross; our dad was a direct match but after lots of tests there were complications so he was unable to donate. I then received a call from the Donor Team at my local hospital to ask if I would consider donating through the UK sharing system. I didn’t hesitate to put myself forward.

Anne and her brother Ross cuddling her

After a few months of various scans and blood tests we then received the amazing news that I had been matched with someone and a match had been found for Ross!

My brother lives in Leeds so on the day of the surgery I had my operation in Bristol and he had his in Leeds. My procedure was completed in a few hours followed by a three-night stay in hospital. For the month leading up to the surgery I was eating healthy, not drinking any alcohol, and getting lots of exercise to make sure I was in the best shape for the operation.

I was told that the recovery time would be around six weeks, however three weeks after the surgery I went on a cruise around the Med. (This holiday was booked well before the operation and I felt fine to go, so we did.) The holiday was a great help in my recovery as I spent the whole week relaxing.

Since the surgery I don’t feel any different, I live my life exactly the same way I did before I donated.

I would recommend becoming a living kidney donor to anyone who is able to. It’s such an easy thing to do, yet you are literally saving someone from a life of dialysis. to everyone to put themselves forward for donation, it’s such an easy thing to do yet you are giving someone back their life.