Kidney patient spearheads campaign

A HUSBAND who discovered love really could save a life is today trying to raise awareness for a cause extremely close to his heart.Back in March 2002 David Merrygold received a kidney transplant from his wife, Barbara, and today, on World Kidney Day, he is spearheading a balloon release at Ipswich Hospital's renal unit.

A HUSBAND who discovered love really could save a life is today trying to raise awareness for a cause extremely close to his heart.

Back in March 2002 David Merrygold received a kidney transplant from his wife, Barbara, and today, on World Kidney Day, he is spearheading a balloon release at Ipswich Hospital's renal unit.

Dad-of-two Mr Merrygold, 56, a partner at accountants PKF in Ipswich, has organised the event with colleagues to urge others to become organ donors too and help save lives.

He said: “I was very fortunate to be given the chance of better health and a better life, but for thousands of people a transplant isn't an option because of the dire lack of donors.


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“I would encourage everybody to carry a donor card so that more people can lead a normal and healthy life.”

Mr Merrygold, who now lives in Long Melford, discovered in 1980 that he had inherited polycycstic kidneys, the disease which killed his father at the age of 42.

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The condition causes cysts to form on the kidney, which grow until the organ stops functioning, causing renal failure which can be fatal.

In 1998 specialists found Mr Merrygold's condition was deteriorating rapidly and predicted he would need regular dialysis sessions by February 2002. This would have meant three to four-hour sessions at Ipswich Hospital three times a week.

So his brave wife offered to donate a kidney to her husband to improve his life-expectancy and quality of life.

Mr Merrygold added: “I'm now healthy, running around the countryside playing golf and skiing and life has never been better. I'm still very grateful!”

Has your life been saved by an organ donation? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Kidney transplants

The lives of more than 3million people in the UK today are under threat from chronic kidney disease

40,000 people are undergoing dialysis or transplant treatment for kidney failure

Of the 7,470 people on the organ waiting list, 6,597 of them need a kidney

By contrast, only about 1,700 kidney transplants are carried out each year

Diabetes is the single largest cause of kidney failure.

The number of cases of kidney cancer has risen by 68per cent in the last 20 years

Every 90 minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with kidney cancer

SOURCE: Kidney Research UK

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