Portishead wife urges people to sign organ donation list after giving kidney to ill husband
PUBLISHED: 05:59 07 July 2017
A Portishead woman is urging people to register as organ donors after helping to save her husband’s life by giving him a kidney.
Nick Tarr, aged 63, was told he was unlikely to receive a transplant via the NHS waiting list due to his age, but his wife Ann Bevan proved to be an unlikely match and the pair underwent surgery three weeks ago.
She said organ donation is a ‘wonderful gift’ and believes more people should sign up.
Nick’s kidney issues became apparent in his 30s following a bout of E. coli and he underwent a transplant.
The new organ lasted 24 years – significantly better than the 10 to 15-year average – but its performance began to drop. Nick required dialysis at home four times a day before his operation on June 12, something the pair said was ‘very restrictive’ and not cost-effective to the NHS.
With kidney donors in short supply, younger recipients are prioritised. Nick was told there was a real chance he would not have received one had he joined the transplant list.
Ann, aged 51, said: “I made the offer (of a transplant) to him in 2014 when he was starting to deteriorate but doctors managed to keep it going.”
The pair got married in April 2016, but upon returning from their honeymoon realised Nick’s kidney was failing and Ann began the process to see if she could donate one.
Over six months she passed medical tests and checks to see if she was a match – something which is very rare in people who are not related. Had Ann not been a match, she said she would have donated one to a stranger to ensure Nick received one in return.
However, the majority of transplants come from dead donors and the pair want people to register
Ann said: “I think the most important thing is people sign the organ donation list.
“It isn’t something you ever want to think about but the one certain thing in life is that we are all going to die.
“I thought, ‘why shouldn’t I do it?’ It’s a wonderful gift.”
Ann and Nick thanked friends and family for their support, as well as St Joseph’s Church and Ann’s employer, Jelf Group.
Nick also praised the ‘world-class’ renal team at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.
Ann added: “You do feel in very safe hands. They will only do it if they are 100 per cent confident.
“There are risks and they make sure you do know them.
“They are very good and I can’t fault the care we had.”
* To become a donor, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk
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