Organ Donation Week: Huncoat man's thanks for second chance at life

A SUPERMARKET security guard is still eternally grateful almost 20 years later, for the new lease of life his mother gave him when she donated her kidney. On Organ Donation Week, charities are trying to spread the word as many transplant patients have isolated and gone without treatment during the coronavirus pandemic – including Mick White who is now 19 years post-transplant. Mick White, 50, from Huncoat, was diagnosed with chronic renal failure in 1999 after visiting the doctors because of a weak bladder and chronic fatigue.

His doctor prescribed him tablets to help his condition but due to its severity, he was put onto dialysis whilst they looked for a compatible organ donor. Both Mick’s mother and father were compatible, but his mum stepped forward to donate one of her kidneys to her son. Mick said: “My dad was also compatible, but he is quite a big bloke.

My mum doesn’t drive, my dad does so rather than my dad not being able to drive, my mum decided to step forward.” Mick and his mother had their surgery on February 19th 2001 at Manchester Royal Infirmary, and Mick is still blown away by how quickly his body accepted the new kidney. “It was fantastic, I felt it immediately.

Two weeks after the transplant I felt like a new person. I could go walking the dog and do anything,” he added. “I wasn’t tired anymore, I have to be on tablets for the rest of my life but it’s improved by life, 100%”

During the coronavirus lockdown, due to his underlying health conditions, Mick has had to self-isolate but he has recently been able to return to work at Asda in Accrington as a security guard. Mick’s mother Marjorie White who is now in her 70s has also self-isolated due to her age and a breast cancer diagnosis. Marjorie also had a hysterectomy but has only had to isolate for nine weeks as she is not on immunosuppressants.

Although it was hard, Mick knew that after his life-saving operation, as a credit to what his mother did for him, he could not risk his life by going outside. “The transplant is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I feel like I’ve got a second chance.

“I have been shielding for 17 weeks from work because of the transplant with Covid. “That was a tough time because I was locked up for 17 weeks but it’s a pleasure most days coming to work and doing what I want to do. Since the transplant, Mick has been able to enjoy his new ‘lease of life’, taking family trips to Las Vegas where he was supposed to spend his 50th birthday before the holiday was cancelled during lockdown.

On 20 May 2020, the law around organ donation changed, becoming an opt out system in what has been called ‘Max and Kiera’s Law’. It is hoped the new system will help save more lives for people waiting on transplant lists and although he appreciates it is a personal choice, Mick would like people to consider donating to give people like him a new start. “They can do what they want to do but there’s so many bits of the body they can use, eyes, kidney, hearts – everything,” he added.

“You are giving another person a chance of life.

It’s definitely a yes from me for donating.”

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