WHEN Dave Horner’s wife Karina first offered to give him the ultimate gift – one of her kidneys – he said no.
The 43-year-old grew up watching his late father Arthur on dialysis, battling polycystic kidney disease, and was facing the same fate.
Doctors told the dad-of-two his kidney function had deteriorated to the point where dialysis or a transplant were the only options.
Then Karina announced she wanted to help.
JobCentre Plus account manager Dave, of Broom, Rotherham, said: “At first I didn’t want her to do it because it’s a major operation. I didn’t want us both going under the knife at the same time. I said no, I want to go on the waiting list.
“But Karina convinced me by saying we’ve got two young children and I want a better life for all our family”
Dave had gone from being very active to coming home from work exhausted.
But there were immediate changes after doctors at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital transplanted Karina’s left kidney into his body.
Dave – backing The Star’s campaign to recruit 12,000 people to the donor register – added: “From day one afterwards I felt like I could run a marathon. I’ve gone from being exhausted to going to the gym three times a week and coaching two football teams.
“The transplant team were amazing. I was very concerned about Karina losing a kidney but they reassured me her other one would increase function and her health wouldn’t be affected.
“She recovered quickly and since then our quality of life has been wonderful.”
Dave, Karina and their children Kieran, 13, and Amy, 10, are signed up for a family run at the Westfield Health British Transplant Games in August and Dave will also compete in five different events.
* Signing up takes just minutes and can be done online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk, text SAVE to 84118 or by calling 0300 123 23 23.
* Joining the register records your agreement to the use of your organs and tissue for transplantation after your death.
* Tell your family. Almost half of donors’ intentions cannot be honoured because families were unaware of their wishes.
* Only 31 per cent of people are on the NHS organ donor register.
* More than 10,000 people in the UK need a transplant. Three a day, or 1,000 a year, will die as there are not enough organs.
* The transplant games take place in Sheffield between August 15 and 18. Visit British Transplant Games to get involved.
* Link to related article Sign up to save a life