I vowed to donate one of my kidneys to a stranger, inspired by reading about the op when it was legalised in 2006. But at 15st 4lbs and a size 22, I soon discovered she was too heavy for the surgery…
By Katy Bullion, 50, from Lowestoft in Suffolk
Ever since I read that it’s possible to become a living organ donor, I felt inspired. It seemed like an amazing thing to do.
You don’t really need two kidneys, and I felt such a strong urge to give one of mine to someone who needed it.
I waited until my six children had passed their late teens, then I started to make my crazy dream a reality.
I soon came across a major stumbling block though… my size. At 15st 4lbs I was a size 22 – but to donate a kidney I needed a healthy BMI.
For years I had ignored my bulging belly, but I couldn’t any longer. I signed up to a local Slimming World group with a new motivation – I wasn’t just dieting for me, I was doing it to save a stranger’s life!
I swapped my favourite cheesy pastries for healthy snacks and went back to basics to cook myself balanced, lean meals.
The weight soon fell off. I loved watching my waistline shrink, but the biggest buzz came from knowing I was getting closer to the operating table.
Eventually, at 12 stone, I got the go-ahead to meet the transplant co-ordinator.
Soon I was being signed up for medical tests, psychological assessments, and fitness checks.
I was declared fit to donate and, in March last year, I was matched up with a patient who desperately needed my kidney.
I was a staggering six stone lighter by the time I went under the knife.
I wasn’t allowed to find out anything about the recipient after my kidney was removed in a four-hour operation – other than that the surgery had been a success for them.
That was such a great feeling. I’ve lost another half a stone since the operation too, now weighing 8st 10lbs.
I love my new size 8 wardrobe but nothing beats the feeling of knowing someone out there is able to live their life because of me. I lost over six stone to save a stranger’s life.
As told to Helen O’Brien Google