Brave Helen has kidney op for pal
GENEROUS colleague Helen Cavanagh underwent surgery to donate a kidney and save the life of Bolton bank employee Julie Rogers.
The two women were in the operating theatre yesterday at the Royal Manchester Infirmary when Mrs Cavanagh’s healthy organ was transferred to mother-of-two Ms Rogers in a bid to end her years of suffering due to the polycystic kidney disease which has claimed the life of three family members.
For the last six years 45-year-old Ms Rogers, who is originally from Westhoughton and now lives in Hindley, has had kidney failure and been on a waiting list for a donor organ.
Despite her illness she continued to work in administration at the RBS centre at Bolton Gate Retail Park, but was exhausted when she got home and relied on her daughters Sophie, aged 19, and Jordan, aged 22, to do the housework.
Ms Rogers and 51-year-old Mrs Cavanagh, who is a project manager for RBS in Manchester, began working together 16 years ago and also became friends but never dreamed how far the relationship would take them.
Ms Rogers said: “We have worked together for a long time and when I had my kidney removed in November, 2011, she was a great support.
“And then she just told me one day around Easter this year she wanted to be a donor for me.
“Before then we had never been really really close, so I was completely overwhelmed. I couldn't believe it.
“I almost didn't want to get too excited in case she changed her mind, because that does happen sometimes.
“But Helen just said she had already thought about it and she wanted to do it and be able to help in whatever way she could.
“I accepted the offer and we haven't looked back since.”
Mrs Cavanagh, from Elton, Bury, had no second thoughts about making such an amazing gift to her workmate.
“I was nervous before the operation but I still believe it is 100 per cent the right thing to do,” she said. “Before I decided to become a donor I could see Julie just existing really and I just thought she deserved better than that.
“The thing is with Julie is that she never complained and just got on with her job. I don't know how she coped with it.
“When I found out we were a match I was delighted and I just want it to work for her.”
Speaking before the double surgery, which was expected to last around eight hours, Ms Cavanagh said she wants Ms Rogers to be able to get on with her own life afterwards.
“After the operation, I don't want to be in her face,” said Mrs Cavanagh.
“We will obviously always be close friends but I don't want to interfere with her life. I'm just glad I can help.”
Ms Rogers added: “I was feeling a bit apprehensive last week, but now I just feel really calm and excited, as is Helen.”
It is too soon to say yet how successful the operation has been, but Ms Rogers is hoping to start her life anew when she is released from hospital.
“The people I work with have been amazing and allowed me to carry on.
“But is was very hard because I was sick most days or exhausted which meant I had to go home from work,” she said.
“This operation is going to be completely life-changing.”
Mrs Cavanagh’s gift has impressed her bosses at RBS. A spokesman for the bank said: “We are incredibly proud of Helen for this selfless act.”
Comments are closed on this article.