A Lincolnshire mum-of-two has become the first person to donate a kidney after seeing an appeal on Facebook. Louise Drewery from Scunthorpe offered one of her healthy kidneys to Stacey Hewitt who was suffering from organ failure, after her father put out a desperate appeal on the social media network.
He posted a message asking: "Is there anyone out there that would like to donate a kidney to help my daughter?" Drewery volunteered to go through donation operation when she was found to be a match. Following 13 months of tests, she proved to be and the operation was performed at the Institute of Transplantation at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. It is believed to be the first ever live organ donation in Britain to have been achieved with the help of social media.
The message read in full: "Good evening ladies and gents, is there anyone out there that would like to donate a kidney to help my daughter? She has kidney disease and needs a transplant as soon as possible. Myself and my wife have had tests, but are not able to donate due to different blood groups and low function in our kidneys. She is the mother of our three-year-old grandson and finds it hard to function properly because of the illness. Thank you for your time." The story is set to feature in a the Gift of Life series on UK broadcaster Channel 5.
Hewitt, a 26-year-old from Redcar, and a mother herself, had chronic kidney disease with an organ that was rapidly fading and face a lifetime of painstaking dialysis. According to charity Kidney Research UK more than 6,000 people, or 90% of the organ transplant waiting list, are waiting for a kidney. Fewer than 3,000 transplants are carried out each year. More than 350 people die a year, almost one a day, waiting for a transplant.