Man donates kidney to stranger

July 16, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

A selfless good samaritan has donated one of his kidneys to a total stranger – after being inspired to help others by the TV show Secret Millionaire.

Altruistic Chris Kendall, 49, dreamed about changing someone’s life after watching wealthy business people hand out cash on the hit Channel 4 show.

So father-of-four Chris decided to donate one of his kidneys and he had to undergo seven months of gruelling physical and mental assessments to ensure he would be suitable.

Doctors then found he was a perfect match for 55-year-old David Mayes (pictured above right, with Chris) was on the transplant list after one of his kidneys failed.

The operation was a complete success and the two men have now met up for the first time.

Civil servant Chris, who lives in St Werburgh’s, Bristol, with wife Rachael, revealed that a ”lightbulb moment” led him to transform the life of a complete stranger.

He said: ”It was a complete lightbulb moment. My wife and I watch things like Secret Millionaire and I thought ‘if I was a millionaire that’s what I would like to do’.

”It was my own little way of making a difference to somebody. I was already a donor and donate blood but it was just a step up from that. It was something that could transform someone’s life.

”I have given him his freedom; I have given him his life back and his wife’s too. They can now do things they previously couldn’t, like go on holiday and plan ahead.

”I don’t consider myself altruistic because I have got so much out of it too. It transformed someone’s life but it also made me feel really good about me.

”All my family were very supportive. Seeing David and what a difference it made to his life was really nice.”

Chris decided to become an altruistic kidney donor while watching TV in June last year and phoned his local organ transplant centre the following day.

He said: ”A psychologist spent several sessions probing my motivation, to check it was genuine.

”They warn you of the risks associated with surgery, such as infection, other complications and the fact that with every surgery where there’s a general anaesthetic there’s a one in 3,000 chance of death.

”My wife Rachael had some reservations at first, like me dying and leaving her with four children. It was three to four months before she came round to it.”

After seven months of physical and mental assessments Chris had one of his kidneys removed at Southmead Hospital, Bristol, on February 26 this year.

The organ was then transplanted to airport worker David, from Gloucester, who had been undergoing dialysis due to serious kidney problems.

David’s wife Di had promised to donate an organ but surgeons found that Chris was a perfect match and the transplant has been a complete success.

David said: ”My wife noticed straight after the surgery that I had more colour in my face. I feel really good and it has increased my energy levels. I am so grateful to Chris.”

The first altruistic kidney transplant in Britain was carried out in 2007 after legislation was passed allowing organs to be taken from living people.

Chris is one of only 23 people who have voluntarily donated an organ to a total stranger during the last year.

Category: News

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