A COUPLE who run a florist shop in Sheffield are in blooming health after the husband donated a kidney to his wife.
David Marshall, aged 37, was in need of a life-saving transplant after doctors diagnosed him with kidney failure. His wife, Jo, proved to be the perfect match, and now they are both enjoying life to the full, working together in Dore.
“The surgery has revolutionised our lives, and I cannot thank Jo enough,” said David. “Of course, she now has the ultimate argument winner!”
David began to experience health problems in 2004, regularly feeling tired and breathless. He was suffering from Type 1 diabetes and high blood pressure, and doctors at the Sheffield Kidney Institute at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals diagnosed that his kidneys were failing and that he needed a transplant.
As well as helping to run the florist, David is a director of a refrigeration business, and for several years lectured in refrigeration at Nottingham College. He also chairs the charity, Sheffield Area Kidney Associated.
“I’ve always been a bit of a workaholic, and before the transplant I was doing three jobs at the same time. I carried on with my work but I began to feel very tired. My doctors diagnosed that my kidneys were failing, not doing their job in filtering my blood of toxins and waste products. We needed to look for a kidney donor.”
David’s father offered one of his kidneys, but tests showed that it would not be suitable.
“It was a shock when we discovered I couldn’t have my dad’s kidney. However my wife kindly offered me hers, and she went for some tests. Thankfully she was a match.”
David and Jo, of Brincliffe, underwent the surgery in December 2009. “I was in hospital for three weeks, and Jo was in for four or five days, and we relied on friends and family to keep the florist shop going – we were really grateful for their support. Only after the transplant did I realise quite how ill I had been, and that I had adapted my life to being unwell. I realised how much better I now was and how the procedure had made a complete difference. I’m also extremely grateful to the team of specialists and nurses that has looked after me so well.”
Since the operation, David’s symptoms have disappeared and Jo has suffered no ill effects as a result of donating one of her kidneys.
Jo said: “It was a lifeline for him, and I would have hated to have seen him become more ill. I can live with just one kidney, but both of David’s were failing. Since the operation we’ve both been feeling great and we’re really glad we went ahead with it.
“We can now both enjoy working on the florist business together. I look after the floristry while David runs the business side, so we’re the perfect match!”
Dr William McKane, the consultant nephrologist, who treated David, said: “Although not all patients are suitable for a transplant, we will always consider all the options, including family members as well as non-relatives. It’s fantastic that in this case Jo was a match for David and the operation was a success.”
lSheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is organising a free event at the Northern General Hospital to mark World Kidney Day, next Thursday. It is at the Medical Education Centre from 6pm to 8.30pm. Tel 271 5199.