An MTW Clinical Support Worker is preparing to donate a kidney to a stranger as she looks to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.
Nikki Moore, who works in the Pre-Assessment Clinic at Tunbridge Wells Hospital, was inspired to sign up, when a friend was told their kidney was functioning at just 7% and would require a donation.
However, after initial tests, Nikki and her friend Mark’s’ blood and tissue groups were not compatible, but the mother of four remained eager to help. After discussions with the Kidney Organ donation team at Kent & Canterbury Hospital and further tests, Nikki joined the NHS database for altruistic/pooled kidney donations – something done by around 100 people each year, although this figure has dropped slightly.
The altruistic/pooled database enables people who wish to donate a living kidney to be placed on a national register. They way, in which it works, is by generating potential matches amongst those requiring a kidney with those wishing to donate. It means that at times this can cause a domino effect and more than one person on the register can receive a living kidney each database run.
Nikki, from Kings Hill and has worked with MTW since 2015, says: “I have known Mark as a neighbour and friend for three years, as soon as I knew that both of his kidneys were at 7% function and eventually he would need a kidney transplant my automatic reaction was offering to be tested for compatibility.”
Offering to donate a kidney is a huge commitment that has seen Nikki undergoing many tests since August 2017, as well as facing up to a 6-8 week recovery period. Nikki is pleased to advise us that last week she discovered that a match for her kidney has been found and in turn because of being in the altruistic/pooled system a better match has also been found for her friend Mark.
She added: “I’m not sure how many people actually know that you can survive with just one kidney. I’ve worked in intensive care and even after people have died, loved ones are worried about donating their organs, but in my opinion our bodies are just carrying our personalities – that still live on in people’s hearts.
“Just seeing someone go from living a normal life, working, enjoying weekends and spending time with family and friends, to then start struggling day to day is the reason I made the decision to donate my kidney. Mark continues to work because he is self-employed, despite suffering from constant fatigue, restricted mobility and muscle/joint pain.
“Sharing this story is important to me because I am very keen to continue raising awareness surrounding both Living Kidney Donation as well as Organ Donation in general.”