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MOTHER DONATES KIDNEY FOR SON10:00 15/01/2009
A COVENTRY hospital patient has been given a new lease of life – thanks to a kidney donated by his mother.
Craig Clark is also being helped in his recovery as one of the first patients to test out a new drug that helps stop the rejection of transplanted kidneys, which is undergoing trials at University Hospital, Walsgrave, Coventry.
Craig, aged 29, who was brought up in Pebblemill Close, Cannock, Staffordshire, but now lives in Guildford, Surrey, has undergone a total of four kidney transplants during his life, the last two of which he chose to have at Coventry because of the hospital’s excellent reputation in the specialty.
His most recent surgery involved the transplant of a kidney from his mother, Zandra James, who lives in Baswich Lane, Stafford.
“I had my first transplant when I was about 11 years old but the latest one, which was of a kidney donated by my mother, has been the best yet,” said Craig, who is a management consultant.
“Words cannot express how I feel about my mother donating one of her kidneys for me. And the service I have received at University Hospital, Coventry, has been second to none.
“About a month after my transplant, which was in October, I was given a single dose of the new drug, which is called Eculizumab. It has helped to reduce the rejection that I was underoing at the time and I had no side effects from the drug.
“So far I am much better than after my last transplant 10 years ago, when I had a major reaction to one of the drugs I had to take to reduce the chance of rejection.”
Zandra said: “It has been challenging at times, over the years, to see my son Craig have to go through dialysis and transplants because he was born with very small kidneys.
“I had wanted to donate a kidney for him 10 years ago but the technology wasn’t so well advanced then, so I couldn’t
“Now I’ve done it – and, although the recovery from the surgery is tough going, overall it’s a joy to know I have given new hope for my son in the years to come.”
Zandra added an appeal for more people to donate organs for transplant to help patients like her son.
At University Hospital, Craig underwent an antibody incompatible transplant (living donor transplantation), in which antibodies that may reject the donated kidney are washed out of the blood before the operation to reduce the chance of rejection.
An antibody incompatible transplant is still a relatively new procedure and the team at University Hospital, led by renal consultant Dr Rob Higgins, is researching different ways to further reduce the risk of donor rejection.
Dr Higgins said: “It is quite a big thing for anyone to donate one of their organs for someone else and is usually done by a family member or, sometimes, a friend. It shows a lot of love.”
The Trust’s Active Research Programme uses new methods to measure antibody levels in the patients.
Craig is one of just two patients to try the new drug Eculizumab, which is the first time it has been used in Europe following kidney transplants.
The drug works by inhibiting the part of the blood which has been linked to the problem of antibodies binding on to a kidney and causing damage to or rejection by the organ.
Both patients are doing well after taking the drug.
Dr Higgins and his team showcased their results at an international meeting of transplant experts at the Clinical Sciences Building at University Hospital’s Walsgrave site, in December.
The team’s research is performed together with NHS Blood and Transplant, in Birmingham, and Warwick Medical School.
Dr Higgins said: “The use of Eculizumab requires further careful evaluation in clinical trials before we are sure about how safe and effective it is in transplant patients – but the early results are promising.
“It has been used extensively in other conditions, where it has a good safety record.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS PRESS RELEASE PLEASE CONTACT KERRY BEADLING,
COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, ON 02476 967597, OR LOUISE JEW ON 02476 967596
Note to Editors:
Joining the NHS Organ Donor Register is the best way for people to ensure that they can donate their organs after death.
A web link from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust’s website – www.uhcw.nhs.uk – has generated 1,654 visits to the organ donor website, resulting in almost 300 people signing on to the national register.
Research has shown that families receive some comfort in knowing that the organs of their loved ones have gone on to help someone else live