Generous friend's donated kidney operation hailed a success

The Bolton News: Helen Cavanagh, right, with Julie Rogers before the operation Helen Cavanagh, right, with Julie Rogers before the operation

THE generous friend who donated a kidney to a mum-of-two on dialysis is recovering well from her five-hour operation.

Helen Cavanagh, aged 51, selflessly offered to give her kidney to bank colleague Julie Rogers, who suffers from polycystic kidney disease and had to have both of her kidneys removed in 2011.

Ms Rogers, who works at RBS in Bolton, has been on dialysis three times a week since her kidneys were removed.

Mrs Cavanagh was so shocked when she realised how ill her friend was that she offered her the ultimate gift of life.

The operation, which went ahead on Friday, was a success and both women are recovering well at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Mrs Cavanagh, who works as a project manager at the bank’s Manchester branch and lives in Elton, Bury, said: “I feel fine. It’s quite amazing how little pain I’m in.

“It’s uncomfortable but there’s no excruciating pain, which I thought I’d have. I’ve only used the morphine drip seven times since the operation.

“I’ve managed to eat too. I started with soup, and I’ve eaten all my meals since. I’ve also enjoyed cups of tea.

“I have been to see Julie twice and she said she feels really good. She said that for the first time in four years she’s been able to eat Weetabix.

“She could only have 500mls of fluid a day before the operation, so she didn’t want to waste it on milk.

“The way she was before, either working, sleeping, being sick, it wasn’t a life, it was an existence. I am just glad that I have been able to help give her some of that back.”

Modest Mrs Cavanagh said although she found it nervewracking, she does not regret it and hopes her story will encourage others to donate. She added: “I’m really pleased I’ve done it. It doesn’t feel like anything big, it’s something that I’ve just done, like going for a walk. Most donors are family members, so even the nurses are saying that’s it’s amazing because it’s so rare.

“I’ve known Julie since 1997 through work. It was surprising to hear that we were a blood and tissue match, so I thought it was meant to be.

“My family are also pleased I have done it and the nurses and doctors say I’m doing well and I am looking forward to going for a proper wander about as I recover.

“But more than anything I really hope that our story will give others the courage to look into being a donor, because there are so many people out there who need it.”

Ms Rogers, who is originally from Westhoughton and now lives in Hindley, had been on a waiting list for a donor organ.

Comments (2)

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12:02pm Mon 30 Dec 13

oftbewildered2 says...

inspirational stuff - glad the operation went well and hope that Julie's full recovery is uneventful.
inspirational stuff - glad the operation went well and hope that Julie's full recovery is uneventful. oftbewildered2

2:27pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Barbara44 says...

What a wonderfull and brave thing to do.
What a wonderfull and brave thing to do. Barbara44

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