This World Kidney Day, a Hitchin hero has opened up about the life-changing moment she donated her kidney to her brother.

Tegan and Tom Watson have spoken out about their experience to mark the awareness day.

Tom, 27, became critically ill after suffering with extreme sickness and was diagnosed with a serious kidney disorder, which resulted in end stage kidney failure.

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Within weeks Tom was having dialysis treatment three times a week.

Sister Tegan said: “As a family, we were really worried at the prospect of Tom being so young and needing dialysis for the rest of his life."

With the care and support of the Lister Hospital transplant team, Tom was put on the transplant waiting list and the team also shared information about living organ donation.

“Everyone in the family was instantly interested in this option and several family members including myself completed the initial health questionnaire."

A series of eligibility tests and a discussion with the consultant resulted in Tegan, as well as having two healthy kidneys, being the only genetic match to donate a kidney and the decision was made to go ahead.

The Comet: Tom and Tegan share their story on World Kidney Day.Tom and Tegan share their story on World Kidney Day. (Image: East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust)

Lister Hospital in Stevenage provided the pre and post-surgery care and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge carried out the successful transplant surgery.

Within a week of the operation Tegan and Tom were home and recovered after around six weeks.

Tegan added: “To see my brother free of dialysis and able to return to gigging with his band, going on holidays and eating whatever he likes has been the biggest joy of my life!”


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Chair of the Lister Area Kidney Patients Association (LAKPA), Kirit Modi, received a living kidney transplant from his wife many years ago.

Kirit said: “My congratulations and best wishes to Tegan and Tom.

"The number of living kidney transplants in the UK fell because of COVID and we need to recover urgently to reduce the waiting list and help transform the lives of kidney patients.”

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