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Newquay man saves stranger's life by donating kidney

Newquay man saves stranger's life by donating kidney

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 10:48am 10th April 2019. (Updated at 10:58am 10th April 2019)

A man from Newquay has told Pirate FM how he helped save a stranger's life, by donating a kidney.

Leroy Hobden wanted to help others after losing his younger brother when they were children.

Almost 90 people in the south west have received a kidney transplant from someone they didn't know over the past five years.

Now health officials are urging more people to sign the register.

NHS Blood and Transplant has just performed the 1000th transplant under the UK Living Kidney Sharing Scheme (UKLKSS).

The scheme started in April 2007 because many 'difficult to match' patients had friends and family who wanted to donate a kidney but weren't a compatible match by blood group or tissue type.

If the patient enters the sharing scheme with their friend or family member, the pair may be matched with another couple in the scheme so that each recipient receives a kidney from the other's friend or family member.

This kidney exchange programme increases the number of people who can receive transplants from living kidney donors and the opportunities for patients who wait a long time for a transplant.

The UKLKSS can match pairs in either two or three-way swaps or in 'chains' of up to 3 transplants, triggered by a non-directed altruistic kidney donor. This is where someone volunteers to donate a kidney to someone they don't know.

Those who donate a kidney anonymously while they are alive, are 'game changers' in the fight to increase the number of kidney transplants for those on the waiting list in the South West each year.

Leroy Hobden from Newquay was one of the first people in the country to altruistically donate a kidney to someone he didn't know.

"I donated a kidney anonymously to a stranger in 2008.

"I did this in memory of my younger brother Daniel who had died of Leukaemia when we were kids. He was 6 and I was 9.

"Throughout Daniel's treatment he suffered a lot and following his death as a family we suffered too.

"Growing up I decided I wanted to help someone who might be suffering and when it became legal to donate a kidney to a stranger in 2006 I knew it was the right thing for me to do.

"I hoped I would be giving someone a better life.

"I was informed that the transplant was a great success and it has brought me comfort knowing I could have helped another family not go through what we went through.

"Since donating my kidney, I have been in perfect health. I run regularly and have even run the London marathon for Leukaemia Care."

Leroy Hobden, kidney donor from Newquay

For suitable patients, transplantation is normally a better treatment for end stage kidney disease compared to dialysis.

A transplant from a living kidney donor is the best chance of a successful transplant.

You can find out more here.

"Non-directed altruistic donors really are the game changers in the kidney sharing scheme. Particularly for the difficult to transplant patients, they make the world of difference.

"Living donation has been a major success story for the UK, with 1 in 3 patients receiving a kidney transplant from a living donor.

"So, the more non-directed altruistic donors we have kicking off a chain means there are potentially 3 times as many transplants possible.

"Anyone in the South West who has ever considered donating to a stranger, could be one of those game changers who start the chain to enable more people to get the lifesaving transplant they so desperately need."

Lisa Burnapp, NHS Blood and Transplant Lead Nurse for Kidney Donation



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