My wife saved my life

Jo and David Marshall, aged 45 and 38. Jo donated a kidney to her husband.
Jo and David Marshall, aged 45 and 38. Jo donated a kidney to her husband.
Share this article
Have your say

A HUSBAND who needed a vital organ transplant is feeling fit and healthy again after his wife saved his life by giving him one of her kidneys.

David Marshall, aged 38, was donated a kidney by his wife Jo when he suffered an illness brought on by diabetes, which he had suffered from since childhood.

The couple, who live in Brincliffe Edge and run a florist’s shop together in Dore, underwent the major procedure after Jo proved to be a perfect kidney match.

Since the successful operation, David’s symptoms have completely disappeared and Jo, 45, has experienced no complications.

David said it was initially ‘very difficult’ to accept Jo’s offer of a kidney - but he now feels very grateful to her for keeping him alive.

“She has saved my life,” he said.

“At first I wouldn’t let Jo do it - I said no. I didn’t want to put her at risk. It’s very difficult to accept a gift like that, but she would rather me be healthy and well.”

David first experienced health problems in 2004, regularly feeling tired and breathless.

He had high blood pressure and suffered from Type One diabetes since the age of seven.

Doctors at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals’ Kidney Institute diagnosed him with renal failure and said he needed a transplant.

“I felt absolutely shocked when I was told I needed a transplant,” David said.

“Transplants are not always suitable for everybody but it’s normally the best option for people because it gives you a longer life.

“Dialysis is very tiring - it’s three days a week for four hours a time.”

David’s 64-year-old father, David Snr, came forward first and offered one of his organs, but tests showed it wasn’t suitable.

Jo stepped in to donate one of hers before the operation in December 2009.

David said he now has a ‘fresh outlook on life’.

“I view things in a slightly more philosophical way, there’s no rushing about any more. Now I feel like you only get one chance of life and this is my chance.

“I can’t thank Jo enough. I’m also extremely grateful to the team of specialists and nurses that has looked after me so well.”

Jo added: “It was a lifeline for him. I can live with just one kidney, but both of David’s were failing. Since the operation we’ve both been feeling great and we’re really glad we went ahead with it.”