BY CALUM FRASER
A stranger donated her kidney to a woman from South-east London after she responded to a Facebook post.~
Louise Sach, of Abbey Wood, Greenwich, was in desperate need of a donor in 2017 as her kidneys were on the point of collapsing.
She then put a plea out on Facebook calling for a spare kidney.
Kayleigh Wakeling, 32, stumbled across Ms Sachs’ post and decided to donate her kidney.
Speaking about the day of the operation, Ms Sach, 29, said: “The moment I saw Kayleigh, I burst into tears. I couldn’t stop crying.
“I have never been so empowered by someone. She was just smiling. I thought, I cannot believe she is doing this for me.
“I had five hours waiting while she was being operated on. That was the worst part. Knowing what she was going through then.”
The operation was done on June 1 at Guy’s Hospital.
Ms Wakeling was kept in for five days, while Ms Sach had to stay for an extra two days.
Louise had been diagnosed with chronic kidney failure at the age of eight and spent her childhood travelling back and forth to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Her kidneys operated at around 30 per cent, but after University she began deteriorating.
During 2017, 28 family members and friends came forwards to be tested as donors, but none of them were a suitable match.
She was running out of hope before Ms Wakeling came along.
Ms Sach said: “I was really nervous when we first arranged to meet up. I kept thinking she wasn’t going to turn up.
“But she’s just always been so consistent and certain about this. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have met her.”
Ms Wakeling, who runs her own home based holistic beauty salon in Baldock, Hertforshire, went through rigorous tests at Guy’s in order to check her suitability as well as her own health.
Ms Wakeling and Ms Sach then took part in a stringent legal assessment to ensure that the donation was truly altruistic and not paid for.
Ms Sach said: “Kayleigh’s mum had MS [multiple sclerosis]. Growing up, she has watched her knowing she could not help.
“She told me that she was doing this for me, because she saw the opportunity be able to make a difference.
“To save a life. If anyone could have come forward to help her mother she would have accepted it.”
The pair are now recovering from the operation at their homes, but they speak every day on the phone.
“In the days after the operation she said I was like a chameleon,” Ms Sach said. “Every day my skin would change colour as the kidney started working.
“It’s still painful. But, I can now walk up the street and back, just about.
“It’s better than before the op though. I had water building up in my legs because my kidneys couldn’t process it. I had horrible cramps in my calves and feet, which meant I would struggle to walk in the evenings.”
On July 1, they will be out supporting Kidney Research UK fundraisers at the London Bridges Walk, where people will be walking from Tower Bridge to Westminster Bridge and back.
Ms Sach said: “We’re not strong enough to do the walk, but we will be at the end waving everyone through.”
To find out more about kidney failure visit www.kidneyresearchuk.org
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