'˜I am so grateful to my dad for donating his kidney'
More than a year ago, devoted dad Phil Marlow donated one of his kidneys to his son Jamie.
Both men tell AASMA DAY how they feel fit and well and are enjoying life to the full - and have welcomed a new addition to the family since the life saving transplant.
“I have absolutely no regrets and if I could do it again, I would.”
Dad Phil Marlow, 52, gave his son Jamie the ultimate gift when he donated one his kidneys to him last year.
Phil, a self employed builder, says seeing the massive difference in Jamie is all the thanks he needs - as well as enjoying spending time with his grandchildren - including baby Spencer who was born after the lifesaving transplant.
Jamie, 30, who lives in Holmfield Road, Bispham, had been undergoing dialysis after being diagnosed with kidney disease.
Jamie was diagnosed with the renal condition in 2010 after suffering from sickness, exhaustion and swelling.
At first, doctors managed to control the disease with medication, but when it stopped working, Jamie developed pneumonia and went rapidly downhill and was put on dialysis.
When medics told Jamie he needed a kidney transplant, his dad Phil and his younger brother Phil Jnr immediately offered to give Jamie one of their kidneys.
However, while undergoing tests for the transplant, Phil Jnr was also found to have kidney disease and was put on medication so was unable to help his brother.
But dad Phil turned out to be a perfect kidney match for Jamie
The transplant went ahead at Manchester Royal Infirmary last April and the change in Jamie’s quality of life has been remarkable.
To add to Jamie’s joy, he and wife Charlotte have welcomed new baby Spencer, now four months, to their family.
Jamie, who worked as a carpet fitter before being taken ill, says: “I noticed the difference straight away following the transplant.
“It was my wife who noticed the change in me first when I woke up.
“She told me that instead of being yellow, my eyes were gleaming white and that I was no longerpale but had a healthy colour to my skin.
“Before the transplant, I felt really bad and although the dialysis was keeping me alive, but it was also making me feel drained. It has been a long year with some ups and downs and the odd setback since the transplant but I have now reached the best point and feel normal and well.
“I feel like I have more energy. Before the transplant, I was always tired and out of breath and couldn’t do anything.
“Now, I can do anything and am enjoying spending time with my wife and children and being able to do everything a normal dad can do.
“Before, I couldn’t even put my children to bed as I was going to hospital for dialysis three times a week and left home at about 4.30pm and I wasn’t getting back until about midnight.
“Now, I am able to do things like go swimming with my children and I am enjoying spending quality time with them.”
Jamie, describes the arrival of Spencer as “the missing piece of the jigsaw to complete our family.”
Jamie, who also has daughter Amelia, eight and five-year-old twins Jaxson and Maisie, says: “Without the transplant, we might not have even been able to have Spencer.
“Even if we had, I wouldn’t have been able to be a proper dad to him as I was so poorly.
“I am so grateful to my dad for donating his kidney to me. It has made a huge difference to my life.”
Dad Phil, of Ribbleton, Preston, says he feels absolutely fine even though he now only has one kidney and if anything, he thinks he is a lot fitter.
He says: “I feel fine and I have got absolutely no regrets at all.
“If I had to do it again and I could, I would do it without hesitation.
“I would urge anyone in the same situation who is able to donate a kidney to help someone else to do it.
“There’s nothing to worry about as all the doctors and nurses are really good.
“You can’t describe the feeling you get from knowing you have helped someone else and improved their quality of life. Jamie is my son and I was only too happy to do this for him. Spencer being born since the transplant is the icing on the cake and I am proud of all my grandchildren.”
6,000 people are waiting for a kidney
• Humans only need one healthy kidney to lead a perfectly normal life.
• There are around 6,000 people on the waiting list for a kidney transplant in the UK
• Around 300 people in need of a kidney die in the UK each year
To register as an organ donor through the Lancashire Evening Post’s campaign, visit: http://bit.ly/givethegiftoflife