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Wife's gift of life

PUBLISHED: 17:02 21 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:13 03 March 2010

DOREEN Chapman gave her husband Winston the most precious gift of all - life.

Winston underwent a life-saving kidney transplant in November, 2000, when his wife donated one of her own kidneys.

DOREEN Chapman gave her husband Winston the most precious gift of all – life.

Winston underwent a life-saving kidney transplant in November, 2000, when his wife donated one of her own kidneys.

And now the 62-year-old former Ipswich Town groundsman is committing himself to raising funds to help people with similar problems to his own.

Winston, known as Wiggy during his time at Portman Road, said: "I had kidney trouble going back a long time and was on dialysis for six years before I had the transplant.

"Doreen's decision to donate a kidney saved my life and now I try to do what I can to help others as a member of the Ipswich and District Kidney Association committee.

"I started having kidney problems of my own about 30 years ago. I took tablets and then I went on dialysis, but my condition worsened to the point where doctors said I would die without a transplant.

"I remember being really ill almost two years ago. I was lying in a hospital bed when Doreen came to see me and she just said 'I can't bear to see you like this any longer – I'm going to give you one of my kidneys'.

"It took almost a year for her to undergo all the necessary tests. The operation went very well and now we both feel great."

The couple live in Winchester Way, Ipswich, and Winston's connections with Portman Road – he was on the staff for 23 years before his departure in 1996 – should give the association funds a welcome boost.

He explained: "I was invited back for the UEFA Cup reunion last August and I thought it would be a good idea to get a shirt signed by the heroes from 1981.

"I also had a shirt signed by the current squad and a club pennant, again signed by manager George Burley and the players."

All three items were raffled last night, at a dance held at the Kesgrave Social Club, when one of Ipswich Town's all-time greats, former Northern Ireland international defender Allan Hunter, was guest of honour.

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