04 December 2017
Best friend gives the ultimate gift by donating his kidney
A Carlton man has given his best friend the ultimate gift by
donating his kidney to help transform her life in a rare
Nicola Rose, 39, was diagnosed with kidney disease five years
ago. At first she was able to continue to live a relatively
ordinary life but, over time, her kidney function declined and she
became dependent on dialysis.
When it became clear that a kidney transplant was her only
option her best friend Scott Christian, who has known her since
they met at work ten years ago, offered her one of his.
He said: "I said I would do it without any hesitation really. I
wanted to see her better and back to the way she was. It was
horrible to see her so poorly."
The operations took place on October 18 at Nottingham City
Hospital and the pair, who describe themselves as "like brother and
sister" are recovering well.
Consultant Transplant Surgeon Sam Dutta, who performed the
operation on Scott, said: "Friend to friend donations are rare but
perhaps not as difficult as people may think.
"To donate a kidney to another person you only need to be fit
and well and have two good working kidneys. You do not have to be a
tissue match or have the same blood group. It is an excellent
option when there are no suitable family members to donate a
Nicola said: "It still feels very surreal not to have to be
hooked up to dialysis every night.
I can't describe how it feels that Scott has been willing to do
this. I will never be able to thank him enough."
After being diagnosed with kidney disease in 2012 Nicola's
health gradually declined and in January last year she was placed
on the organ donor register. From March onwards her health declined
rapidly and she went on to dialysis in July.
She spent months on dialysis - trying two different kinds before
finding one that suited her, but it meant being hooked up to
machinery for seven hours every night.
She said: "It was a very difficult time. You're very much tied
to the house and you feel like you're just existing, not really
Scott, 31, of Carlton, said: "Seeing the difference in her just
emphasised why I wanted to do it.
"We have vowed that we are going to celebrate October 18 for the
rest of our lives."
The pair have even given the kidney a name. Scott said: "We've
called it Bertha. When Nicola sent me a birthday card she signed it
from her, her dog Molly and Bertha!"
Mr Dutta added: "At Nottingham City Hospital we have been
performing transplants across blood group barriers for many years
with excellent results. Our Transplant Coordinators, Karen Stopper
and Anne Theakstone work tirelessly to make such complex operations
"Karen organised weeks of rigorous treatment for Nicola in
preparation for the transplant, as directed by Consultant
Nephrologist Dr Gavin McHaffie . The whole process of removing
Scott's kidney with a keyhole operation and attaching it into
Nicola is a technically complex process with lots of surgical and
medical challenges. I am pleased that it has gone smoothly.
"It is fantastic to see them both doing so well."
Anyone who is interested in knowing more about donating a kidney
to a friend or a family member can call our Transplant Coordinators
on 0115 9691169 ext 59405.