Wife gives husband a precious gift for silver wedding anniversary – one of her kidneys
It wasn't a difficult decision, says devoted wife
16:19 GMT, 19 July 2012
A wife gave her husband a silver wedding anniversary gift worth far more than any trinket or keepsake – one of her own kidneys.
Nigel Bryant, 50, used to undergo punishing four-hour dialysis sessions three times a week at home in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands.
But his life was transformed after his wife Nicola, 48, offered him her kidney.
Happily married: Nigel Bryant now has more energy since his wife Nicola donated her kidney (left) and on their wedding day in Birmingham (right)
Tests revealed the couple were a surprisingly good match and went under the knife in March.
'It was a fantastic way to make a difference to Nigel’s life,' Mrs Bryant said.
'It was our silver wedding anniversary last month and I wanted to do anything I could to make his life better.
'It’s still early days and Nigel has regular check-ups, but it’s made a positive difference.
'He can eat more freely and has the time away from the dialysis machine – and the energy – to do things. It has benefited our whole family.'
Project manager Nigel’s health problems began in 1993 when he was diagnosed with the bowel disorder Crohn’s disease.
He was diagnosed with renal failure in 2007 and staff at Heartlands Hospital’s Castle Vale Renal Unit suggested Nicola might be able to donate a kidney.
Hope for the future: Nigel and Nicola with their children Charlotte and Sam
The couple – parents to Charlotte, 16, and Sam, 18 – had the operation at Coventry’s Walsgrave Hospital in March.
Nigel said: 'It’s given me a new lease of life not being tied to the dialysis machine.
'I was worried about doing it at first because of the risk to Nicola, but she was determined to go ahead and it was the best way forward in the end.
'It’s difficult for me to thank her – how do you say thanks for something like this It’s probably the biggest commitment someone could make for someone else.'
Nicola, a business development manager at Birmingham City Council, said: 'It wasn’t a difficult decision. The thing with donating a kidney is that you choose when to have the operation. That was important as our children are at important stages of their education.
'If anything, had I known I could have done it earlier then I would have.'
Karen Hodgson, live donor transplant co-ordinator at Heartlands Hospital, said: 'Donating a kidney is a major decision but living donation is on the increase in the UK.
'There is no guarantee a kidney transplant will work. However, living donation is overwhelmingly successful with 96 per cent working well in one year.
'There are more than 7,531 people in the UK currently needing an organ transplant of some kind. Only 33 per cent of people in the UK have joined the Organ Donation Register which is why it is so important to join the register and inform your family and friends of your wishes.'
More information about the donor register is available at www.organdonation.nhs.uk