- Oldest person to donate a kidney while alive is woman, 85
- She approached the Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire
A woman of 85 has become the oldest person in the UK to donate a kidney while still alive – saying she did not need two just to ‘sit at home knitting’.
She went under the knife to give her ‘spare’ to a stranger after reading about the desperate shortage of donor organs.
About 300 people die in Britain every year while awaiting a kidney transplant. Though there are 6,000 people on waiting lists at any one time, only about 2,500 transplants take place per year.
‘Altruistic donation: The pensioner approached the Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire saying she did not need two kidneys just to ‘sit at home knitting’
The pensioner approached the Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire and asked if she was healthy enough to give her kidney in an ‘altruistic’ donation.
She said: ‘I had two kidneys, but I knew I could survive perfectly well with just one. Why do I need two kidneys to sit at home knitting and watching television?
‘So I thought, why not give one away to someone who needs one while I am alive, rather than waiting until after death to donate my organs.’
After tests deemed her kidney to be in good shape, and that she was strong enough to undergo the operation, it was performed successfully at the Manchester Royal Infirmary.
The woman, now 86, is the oldest living kidney donor in the UK – and hopes to be able to donate her other when she dies
The woman, who has since turned 86 and wants to remain anonymous, has made a good recovery. By donating at her age, she hopes to encourage others to give a kidney to a stranger.
Fiona Biggins, transplant recipient co-ordinator at the Royal Preston Hospital, said that there was no upper age limit for kidney donation.
She said: ‘This lady has been incredibly kind by donating her kidney at the age of 85 to a complete stranger, and she is a real inspiration.
‘The fact she wanted to remain anonymous after making the donation shows how selfless she is and how she made the donation for purely altruistic reasons.’
Chris Burns-Cox, of the charity Give A Kidney, said: ‘Hearty congratulations to this donor. An 85-year-old may very well be healthier than a 65-year-old.’
A Royal Preston Hospital spokeswoman said she could not give any further information about the case.