Love blossoms for couple after life-saving donation

Gordon Henry and Jo Macfarlane are back together as a couple after nearly 20 years ' after he donated a kidney to her
Gordon Henry and Jo Macfarlane are back together as a couple after nearly 20 years ' after he donated a kidney to her
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Love blossomed again for a couple after 20 years – after they awoke on the same Sheffield ward following a life-saving gift.

Gordon Henry stepped in to donate a kidney to his ex-partner Jo Macfarlane – the mother of his son, Jordan – and the couple rekindled their love after they awoke on the same ward at the Northern General Hospital.

Jo, of Firth Park, said: “It got to the point where I did desperately need a new kidney.

“My son said he wanted to help – then his father got wind of that and he came forward as a donor.

“He did it after all this distance between us for years. He risked his life to do it for me and Jordan.

“At first, I didn’t think he would go through with it, but he went through all the tests and kept travelling here when he was nursing his own mother and having a tough time himself. He didn’t look back.

The couple had originally split after Jordan’s birth almost 20 years ago, before reuniting after the transplant operation.

Jo said: “It was very strange. Everyone was saying he wanted to get back with me, even the nurses at the hospital, and I completely dismissed it.

“I’ve heard of couples getting back together after years of separation but not this way.

“We’ve put everything that happened in the past behind us but it is a very unusual situation.”

Jo had her first transplant – using a kidney donated by her older sister Amanda Pilgrim – in 1988 at the age of 19, after doctors discovered years of strange symptoms were down to an acute kidney condition.

The family then lived in Reading, but Jo moved to Sheffield to be closer to her sister 16 years later, after she began having symptoms again.

She spent five years having gruelling dialysis treatment while waiting for an organ until the four-hour transplant surgery went ahead in 2009.

Gordon, who has been back with Jo for a year-and-a-half, but still lives in Reading, said: “Giving Jo a kidney was a chance to repay her for all she’s done for our son, she’s brought him up all these years. One of the strangest things about it was we had been apart for so long, but it definitely felt like the right thing to do. I was over the moon I was able to help.

“I hadn’t any intention of us getting back together, that wasn’t the reason for doing it, but it is a fantastic ending.”