I donated a kidney...and ended up in debt

Twins Samantha (right) and Toni Robinson, aged 23. Toni has donated a kidney to her identical twin.
Twins Samantha (right) and Toni Robinson, aged 23. Toni has donated a kidney to her identical twin.

A selfless young woman donated a kidney to save her identical twin - and ended up thousands of pounds in debt.

Samantha Robinson, aged 23, said she didn’t think twice about giving one of her kidneys to sister Toni to prevent her dying of kidney failure.

But despite being told initially she would be entitled to help with housing benefit, her claim was then rejected - leaving her struggling so badly with bills she has been forced back to work early against doctors’ advice because she needs the money.

Samantha worked full time for logistics firm FPS off the Parkway in Sheffield before the transplant.

Afterwards, when she phoned Sheffield Council to lodge her first claim for housing benefit, they told her she was not entitled to anything.

“Originally they had said I was,” said Samantha, who lives in Low Edges.

“I have been fighting with them to get some help, but they keep fobbing me off.

“I’m not chasing money, but I had donated a kidney.

“I was quite poorly when I first came out of hospital and the stress of all of this has not helped.”

Samantha, who had been working at FPS for only three months before the transplant, has now gone back to work early against doctors’ advice.

“My employers have been really supportive throughout,” she said. “They kept my position open for me to come back to, which I have now had to do.”

Her sister, Toni, from Jordanthorpe, is also now on a phased return to work at John Lewis as she recovers from her transplant.

“Toni is doing well,” said Samantha.

“We were 17 when we found out one of her kidneys had failed, and we were told then she would definitely need a transplant at some point in her life.”

Last October doctors told the twins it was time for the transplant, and the surgery took place at the Northern General Hospital on December 13.

“I didn’t even have to think about donating a kidney for Toni,” said Samantha.

“I was always going to do it for her. I would still do it all again.

“She’s been lucky in the sense she has an identical sister who was willing to donate, because her body thinks the kidney is hers and she doesn’t have to take any anti-rejection drugs.”

A Sheffield Council spokesman said: “We will look into the details of Ms Robinson’s claim again, and check that she is able to access all the benefits to which she is entitled.”