My miracle grandchild – kidney donor Ellen
9:01am Wednesday 1st August 2012 in News
BABY Tianna-May is the “miracle” grandchild Ellen McEvans thought she would never see.
Two years ago Ellen gave her seriously ill daughter, Sarah, the ultimate gift by donating one of her kidneys.
Now, Sarah has given her mum the greatest gift of all — her first grandchild.
The 29-year-old, from Farnworth, said: “If it wasn’t for my mum, I wouldn’t be here and neither would Tianna-May.”
For Ellen, aged 54, the opportunity to save her daughter’s life was a simple one to make.
She said: “You don’t have to think about it. You would do anything to save your own child — she is my little girl.”
Sarah was diagnosed with kidney problems at the age of 22. But at the beginning of 2009 she was given the devastating news that her kidneys were failing and she would need a transplant.
Ellen and her son, Ian, aged 31, were discovered to be a good match.
Sarah said a kidney will not “last forever” but it is possible for a transplanted kidney to last 25 years.
She added: “Mum decided she should give me her kidney as if I needed another transplant later in life then Ian would be able to help.”
After being on dialysis since finding out her kidneys were failing, the transplant took place in February 2010 at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, and it gave Sarah her life back.
Last September, she married her partner Stuart Smith, aged 36, and then, four months ago she gave birth to a daughter.
New grandmother Ellen said: “When Tianna-May was born I felt on top of the world. She is a very special baby — our little miracle.”
Sarah and Ellen have regular check-ups following the transplant surgery.
Ellen, who runs The Post Office pub in Market Street, Farnworth, said: “I realised there would be excellent follow-up care for Sarah, but I didn’t realise just how good the follow-up care is for the donor. It is excellent.”
Now, mum and daughter are enjoying spending time with little Tianna-May, who has brought such joy to the family, including Sarah’s dad, Ian, aged 54, who could not be considered as a donor for his daughter due to ill-health.
Sarah said: “She is a really good baby — sleeps through the night — and I just feel so grateful to my mum for giving me the chance of life and the chance to have a daughter of my own.”
l It is rare for women on dialysis to be able to get pregnant and if they do there is a much greater risk of miscarriage.
l There were 1,009 living kidney donors in the UK over the last year.
l To register to become an organ donor visit the website organdonation.nhs.uk.
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