The perfect present: Soldier flies home from Afghanistan to donate kidney to his sister
An British solider stationed in Afghanistan has flown home and donated a kidney to his sister.
Army sergeant Jamie Partington, 31, gave the vital organ to his sister Kylie, 29, after a kidney that was previously donated by her father began to fail.
Sgt. Partington flew is now recuperating at home over Christmas but hopes to be fighting fit and back on the frontline with his Army colleagues within two months.
Brotherly love: Army sergeant Jamie Partington has donated a kidney to his sister Kylie
“People say I”m very brave for donating to my sister, but the fact I”ve passed all the tests in order to donate means I”m in very good health,” he said.
“My sister never has been. The fact that she was told at ten years old that her kidneys are failing and there is no cure – that”s brave.
“I”ve always known I wanted to donate a kidney to my sister, for as long as I can remember she has been one of the strongest people I know.
True hero: Sgt. Partington flew home from duty in Afghanistan but hope to be back on duty inside two months
“This illness combined with all the anti-rejection drugs she has had to take has made her very ill over the years, but she has never let it get her down.
“With the rate my sister”s kidney was failing, we were looking at mid-2012 for the operation.
“Butover the last couple of months her kidney function levels dropped dramatically and if a transplant wasn”t carried out soon then my sister would have to go on dialysis.
“Anyone who knows anything about dialysis knows it”s not in any way pleasant.
“They asked me at the beginning of October when the soonest I could be available to transplant was, I said as soon as possible.
“They say I should need six to eight weeks off, depending on fitness and recovery time, so I”m aiming to be back as soon as possible.”
Sgt Partington, a member of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Regiment, had tests to see if he was suitable donor for Kylie during his seven-month tour of Afghanistan.
He flew home from operations in October and prepared for surgery.
The soldier, who lives with his wife Stacey in Paignton, Devon, then flew to Leicester General Hospital for the gruelling procedure on December 8.
But he is now back at his wife”s grandmother”s home in Gloucester after the operation.
The serviceman will return to an exchange with the Royal Navy at its Fleet Air Arm Station, in Yeovil, Somerset, when he finishes recuperating.
Miss Partington, a civil servant from Lincolnshire, was diagnosed with reflux nephropathy after turning blue while swimming in a heated pool on a family holiday.
Her father, Jim, who served in the RAF, donated a kidney when she was 20 and she was told it would last five to seven years.
It began to fail in 2008 but it was not until early in 2010 that her kidney function dropped low enough to warrant tests for her brother”s suitability as a donor.
“It is a wonderful Christmas present from Jamie,” said Miss Partington.
“The main effects of the kidney beginning to fail have been tiredness and getting everyone”s cold, and of course not being able to make long-term plans.”
Standing to attention: Jamie and Kylie Partington when they were air cadets in their youth