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'Help others like me'

PUBLISHED: 16:16 15 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:47 03 July 2010

FOREVER GRATEFUL: Andy Tennant

FOREVER GRATEFUL: Andy Tennant

Miles Jermy

THEY will never meet, but Andy Tennant will be forever grateful to the family who allowed a young girl to give life to others after her death.

Andy finally received a kidney and pancreas from the 11-year-old girl from Scotland last year after four years on dialysis.

THEY will never meet, but Andy Tennant will be forever grateful to the family who allowed a young girl to give life to others after her death.

Andy finally received a kidney and pancreas from the 11-year-old girl from Scotland last year after four years on dialysis.

A diabetic, Andy, from Ormesby, suffered kidney failure four years ago before being placed on the transplant list six months before the operation.

He was given a new kidney and pancreas in a 12-hour operation at Addenbrooke's Hospital in June.

The replacement pancreas failed after suffering a blood clot, but the original had been left in place and has some basic functions.

However, the kidney was transplanted successfully and has transformed Andy's life.

Now the 43-year-old is asking others to sign the organ donor register to help the 8,000 people in Britain on the transplant list.

He said: “I am very grateful to the donor's family - my quality of life is so much better now.

“It is terrible to lose a loved one so it is a wonderful gesture to think of others at such a traumatic time.

“Before the transplant I had to go on dialysis every other day. It would start before 8am; I would get home around midday and spend the rest of the afternoon

in bed.

“I found it hard to do anything physical or concentrate for any length of time and suffered weakness in my muscles.

“The after-effects were bad. I suffered blinding headaches, I would usually get up in the evening, but have to sit in a chair. The whole day was wiped out; it put pressure on the days in between to cram more into shorter space of time.”

Andy received his kidney at the same time as Bob Karlson, from Caister, and the two have since become firm friends.

“We have all been through the same procedures and it's great to talk to others and know you are not the only one going through the experience,” he added.

Later this year, Andy, who used to work as a programme manager at Norwich Union, will be able to go back on the transplant list to receive another pancreas.

Mum Barbara has been spearheading a campaign by Norfolk WI members to encourage more people to register as organ donors.

A committee member of the Great Ormesby branch, Barbara had been hoping for a

change from the present voluntary arrangement to presumed consent. However, a government taskforce rejected the option in favour of a publicity campaign to encourage more people to become donors.

There are currently more than 90 kidney patients attending the renal dialysis unit at James Paget University Hospital.

To become an organ donor call 0845 60 60 400, online at www.uktransplant.org.uk or sign the coupon below and post to

The NHS Organ Donor Register, UK Transplant, FREEPOST (SWB 1474) Patchway, Bristol BS34 8ZZ.


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