Baldock woman saves stranger’s life with kidney donation

PUBLISHED: 16:46 20 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:52 20 June 2018

Kayleigh and Louise - joined by mutual friend Kai - met  for the first time in February. Picture: Louise Sach

Kayleigh and Louise - joined by mutual friend Kai - met for the first time in February. Picture: Louise Sach

A holistic beautician from Baldock has donated a kidney to a stranger who needed the vital transplant to survive.

Now 'life-long' friends Louise and Kayleigh didn't know eachother when Kayleigh offered to be tested for the transplant. Picture: Louise SachNow 'life-long' friends Louise and Kayleigh didn't know eachother when Kayleigh offered to be tested for the transplant. Picture: Louise Sach

Kayleigh Wakeling hadn’t met Louise Sach, the woman who was to receive her kidney, but when she heard of her situation, she felt she could be the one to help.

Kayleigh told the Comet: “A mutual friend of ours posted that a girl needed a transplant on Facebook, so I became interested in being tested.

“It all happened very quickly, and Louise and I have become really good friends.”

Louise spent her childhood in and out of Great Ormond Street Hospital, after being diagnosed with chronic kidney failure when she was eight.

Kayleigh and Louise outside Guy's Hospital, just before the operation. Picture: Louise SachKayleigh and Louise outside Guy's Hospital, just before the operation. Picture: Louise Sach

As she got older, a transplant was needed to save her life.

Last year, 28 family members and friends were tested, but none of them were a suitable match.

Amazingly, 32-year-old Kayleigh turned out to be a match – and both women had the life-changing operation earlier this month.

Kayleigh said: “The surgery was fine, I’m still in quite a bit of pain, but I would do it again if I could.

“It’s been a really interesting journey – every day in hospital I would wake up and see Louise’s skin tone change and her eyes looking brighter.

“It has just made a bit of discomfort worthwhile – there aren’t any words to describe how incredible it is.”

The operations were successful, and Louise’s body has responded well to the new kidney.

“The whole thing has been phenomenal,” 29-year-old Louise, who is from St Albans, added.

“It’s not every day you get offered a kidney transplant.

“The limitations were so severe. I’ve gone from having to have dialysis three days a week, to being fixed within days of having a transplant.

“I’m now able to be a normal person, which I can’t say I’ve ever been. Every day I think about what Kayleigh has done for me and I start crying.

“Having someone I didn’t know offer to save my life is phenomenal.

“I can now do the same things as everyone else. I can have a career, travel, have children – which I couldn’t do before. Whatever I want to do, I have the option to do it.

“I feel so rewarded and positive – I’m just excited about my life. Live donation is the best thing anyone can do for someone. Everything I do in my life now is because of Kayleigh.”

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