A MAN from Malmesbury gave his dad a second chance at life when he offered to donate his kidney

Jerry Sherriff, 75, from Broadstairs in Kent, had the lifesaving transplant in March last year after his son, Matt, 48 from Malmesbury offered to donate his kidney.

The transplant was a success, despite the pair having incompatible blood groups.

Jerry, who also has a daughter, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren started to experience problems with his kidneys in 2009. Doctors discovered they were only functioning at 30 per cent and by 2016 this had declined to just 9 per cent.

He said: “Around five years ago I was told I would eventually need to have dialysis or a transplant.

“Matt came forward and insisted on being my donor. I was reluctant to put him through the process but he insisted and I gratefully accepted his offer.

“Without him it would have taken years to get one on the waiting list and I would have needed to have dialysis.

“Because of my age there was also a risk that I may have not been fit enough to have a transplant in a few years time.”

Both operations which took place at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London were a success and Jerry could immediately feel the difference.

“My family were amazed to see how much better I looked”, he explained. “Since then I’ve been less tired and I’m able to play gold and do gardening again.

“I am so grateful to Matt and proud of what he has done for me.”

His son, Matt added: “Dad had been grey and pallid before and now he had a pink flush to his face. It felt amazing to know that was down to me.

“He looked ten years younger instantly.

“It was also great to know I’d stopped him from needing dialysis.

“I would encourage other people to donate. I think there is a misunderstanding that you have to be a perfect match. Now there are ways to overcome things that stop people donating and people aren’t aware of that.”

“There are also misconceptions about the donor’s quality of life with one kidney. Some people think I need dialysis and others think I can’t drink alcohol but that’s not the case and you’d never know I only had one kidney by looking at me.

“Now I’m fitter than I’ve ever been and living a completely normal life.

“We received an unbelievable level of support from the kidney team and ward staff at Guy’s – the care was top notch. Everyone was amazing and sympathetic to how Dad and I were feeling. The care was something for the NHS to be proud of.”

Geoff Koffman, renal transplant surgeon at Guy’s and St Thomas’ who carried out Jerry’s transplant, said: “Incompatibility affects 30% of people on the waiting list, making it harder for them to have transplants.

“At Guy’s and St Thomas’ we are looking at a number of techniques to overcome the problem of incompatibility so that more people can receive life-saving kidney transplants. It’s wonderful to see patients like Jerry, who may have been waiting a long time for a kidney, have their lives transformed by a transplant thanks to the pioneering techniques we are using. We are always in awe of the generous donors who make this remarkable sacrifice.

“In the UK around 5,000 people wait for kidney transplants every year. We have one of the biggest living donor programmes in the country, helping more people to get the transplants they desperately need.”