Mum's kidney donation to save son's life and give young Ipswich newlyweds hope for future
PUBLISHED: 11:00 19 August 2017
Cystic fibrosis patient Holly Randall has always been an advocate of organ donation, knowing one day she will need a double lung transplant to keep her alive.
This became stronger when the 25-year-old of Ipswich lost her childhood boyfriend Greg to the same condition in 2010; but it crystallized when, in a cruel twist of fate, her partner Ricky was diagnosed with kidney failure in February last year, just a few months before their wedding.
“I think it was one of the biggest shocks of my life,” said Holly. “I had been with someone who I lost through CF and Ricky was the first person who I connected with after that and he was always there to look after me.
“He was strong and healthy and fit and then when he got the diagnosis our whole world came crashing down because all of a sudden it’s not just me being poorly, it’s him as well. It’s something I never expected to have to go through again.”
Luckily, 28-year-old Ricky’s mother, Jan Randall, is a suitable match and has offered to give her son a kidney to save his life.
The pair are on a waiting list for surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
Until then, Ricky has to go for dialysis, a procedure to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly, for six hours three times a week, while Holly continues to battle her own health difficulties.
Holly said: “It will be the difference between him living the rest of our married years on dialysis or giving us maybe 20 years of him living well and us being able to do things we were hoping to do when we decided to get married.”
Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 11 months, Holly has just 50% lung capacity. Every day she has to take a cocktail of 70 tablets and undergo three to four hours of physiotherapy.
The life-expectancy of people with the genetic condition, which causes the lungs and digestive system to become clogged with sticky mucus, is 37, but Holly said she was “planning on smashing that”.
She added: “Eventually I will need a double lung transplant so that will be what saves me, so that’s why organ donation is so close to my heart.”
The couple met in their home town of Clacton and were married in September 2016. They now live in Holyrood Close, Ipswich.
Holly’s mum, Kirsten May, has launched a JustGiving page with a target of raising £2,000 to support the pair through this period of instability.