Second gift of life for Dronfield man

Jane John & Colin Batty
Jane John & Colin Batty
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WHAT a family!

Jane Batty has given her brother John the gift of life by donating a kidney – just hours after winning a 10km race.

John previously gratefully accepted a transplant kidney from his dad, Colin – who said he was ‘ever so proud’ of his daughter’s achievement and her selfless gesture.

Jane, aged 45, crossed the finish line as the first lady in the 2013 Dronfield 10k with a time of 39 minutes and 59 seconds.

Just hours later, the same afternoon, she was on the ward at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, where she gave her left kidney to John, 51, who has suffered from kidney disease since childhood.

The brother and sister are recovering at home in Hill Top, Dronfield – and dad Colin, 80, said he thought his daughter was ‘terrific’.

“It’s wonderful what she has done,” he said.

“She is terrific and very determined.”

The Batty family are backing The Star’s Gift of Life campaign, which aims to sign up 12,000 more local organ donors before the Transplant Games competition takes place in Sheffield this August.

John has suffered since the age of nine with kidney disease, caused by a faulty ureter valve.

He was prescribed medication, but by 1996 needed kidney dialysis and was told he needed a transplant.

So retired Colin, who used to work in marketing, agreed to go under the knife.

“It was the easiest decision in the world,” hwe said. “I knew it was necessary so I did it.

“But the kidney was already 64 years old when he got it. It’s not done badly for him over the 16 years since then, but it was an old kidney and it just started to fail.

“You can live reasonably comfortably on 12.5 per cent of your kidney capability, but when it gets down to 15 they put you on the transplant list.

“I gave John my left kidney, which is interesting because Jane donated her left one also. Things have changed so much since then. Back then you more or less had to be family to donate, but they can make pretty much any kidney match nowadays.”

Jane, who lives in Paris where she works as a manager at EuroDisney, is a keen marathon runner and has taken part in races around the world, including Vienna and Chicago.

“Every day she runs seven miles which is more than a 10k, and if she doesn’t run she feels like she’s missed out, it’s like a drug,” said Colin.

“She started the Dronfield 10k at 10am, her appointment at the hospital was at 4pm, and her operation was at 8.30am the following morning.

“It wasn’t a five-minute thing. Her operation was much bigger than John’s. She felt a bit sore afterwards and will have to take it easy for a couple of weeks.”

John, who runs Chesterfield-based firm Blue John Marketing, is also a sports fan, swimming and cycling in several Transplant Games events.

Colin has two younger sons, Andrew, 49, and Duncan, 47, with his wife Liz, 77 – and he added they would be prepared to donate a kidney should John become poorly again in future.

“Jane’s kidney should see him out, but I’m sure his brothers will put their hands up if it doesn’t,” Colin said.

“Transplants are very important. Dialysis keeps you alive but you have no energy without a kidney. A lot of people pass away before somebody comes along with a suitable organ, so it’s a wonderful thing if someone can do it.”

The Games take place from August 15 to 18. Team members will be competing in sports including swimming, running, archery, golf and fishing.