A MUM celebrating 10 years since having a kidney transplant says she is “so lucky and grateful”.
Gill Nowell, of Upton, might not be here if it wasn’t for somebody else's kidney.
Gill found out she had health problems when she was pregnant with her only daughter Emma, 26 years ago.
After giving birth, she underwent tests and found out her kidneys had been scarred since birth and had not been growing properly.
She said: “Over the next 16 years I got progressively ill and I was told in 1999 that I needed a transplant.
“My only sister Yvonne stepped forward and luckily was a perfect match - which meant I didn’t have to wait for a match on the donor register or stay attached to a dialysis machine for the rest of my life.
“There’s no guarantee that my body would accept Yvonne’s kidney so every day is a bonus, but to reach the 10 year mark is a milestone and I am so grateful.
“Many people wait for years on the register and die before getting a match. What happened to me has urged my entire family to sign up to the donor register.
“Giving away an organ is a very personal and private thing but I believe it’s your spirit that goes on in death, not your body, so why not save someone’s life with organs you don’t need?
“I now celebrate two birthdays and have just been to Las Vegas with Yvonne and our husbands, something I could never have done if it wasn’t for organ donation.”
Gill’s only daughter Emma said: “When thinking about putting your name on the donor register you’ve just got to think, what if it was your mum, dad, sister, brother or child who needed an organ to stay alive.
“I’m just so lucky my mum had my auntie, but other people’s loved ones can die waiting for a donor match.”
For more information on organ donation visit www.uktransplant.org.uk.