Dad-to-be Richard Haybourne may never have become a father - if he hadn’t been given the gift of life with a new kidney.
It has been just over a year since the 35-year-old received a new organ from cousin Stuart Ashcroft to help him beat a genetic disorder.
Tired and ill, he struggled to complete normal tasks before the operation at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital, and at one point had a kidney function level of just ten per cent.
But now the engineer is back at work and expecting a daughter with girlfriend Amy Raines in October.
Richard, who is now an organ donation advocate for charity Live Life, Give Life, wants to raise awareness of live organ donation during National Transplant Week.
He told The Star: “There have been massive changes in my life in the last three years, from going into kidney failure to making a full recovery and starting a family - it is crazy.
“Having children is something we have always thought about but when I was on dialysis and on medication conceiving is a lot more difficult.”
Both Richard, of Haworth near Doncaster, and Stuart, of Bircotes, Nottinghamshire, are doing well after annual check-ups.
Richard added: “A quarter of all transplants are live transplants.
“By Stuart donating his kidney it took me off the waiting list and will have helped someone else as well, which is pretty special.
“I’m hoping this will raise awareness that you can get by with one kidney.”
There is a ‘ very minimal’ risk that Richard’s daughter could have the same syndrome, but she will be monitored closely by doctors and it is hoped treatments will improve in future.
“I think it was a risk worth taking,” he added.
See www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.