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Carrott's wife gives kidney to save her daughter; COMIC AT PAIR'S BEDSIDE.

The wife of comic Jasper Carrott has given one of her kidneys to save her daughter's life.

Mum Hazel and 24-year-old actress Lucy Davis - the family's real surname - were both recovering in hospital yesterday after surgeons performed the organ swap.

Jasper, 51, had been expecting to spend Christmas at their bedsides. But doctors are so pleased with their progress, they may be sent home today. An insider said: "They are both up and about and, fingers crossed, Lucy is showing no signs of rejection problems."

The actress, who plays Hayley in Radio 4's soap The Archers, developed kidney problems three years ago.

It was at the same time she won her first major TV role, as vicar's wife Maria Lucas, in the BBC's smash-hit costume drama, Pride and Prejudice.

Mum-of-four Hazel, who has been wed to Jasper for 26 years, immediately offered one of her kidneys.

But surgeons hoped to find a suitable organ from a dead donor. A family friend said: "Lucy had not been on dialysis but Hazel was concerned that her condition would deteriorate.

"She was terrified Lucy would gradually go downhill until finding a donor became a matter of life and death - and perhaps even came too late."

Doctors finally agreed to use one of Hayley's kidneys because of a nationwide shortage of donated organs.

At Lucy's request, the operation, which took place last week, was kept secret.

Fellow stars from The Archers offered to record the show from the transplant unit at Birmingham's University Hospital.

Lucy currently features in a major storyline over her boyfriend, John Archer, two-timing her. Jasper and his three other children, Jenny, 20, Hannah, 19, and Jake, 17, are hoping the family will be reunited at their home in Knowle, West Midlands, in time for Christmas.

A hospital spokesman said: "A successful living-related kidney transplant has been performed on the wife and daughter of Jasper Carrott.

"The operation was from mother to daughter and both women are recovering well."

Kidneys filter out the body's waste products. Without a transplant, a patient must use a dialysis machine.

It is possible to live normally with only one kidney since the remaining organ enlarges to do all of the work.

In a statement, Jasper, who stars in a Christmas TV special of The Detectives on Sunday, said: "This is a private family affair. The family is very happy and I hope that, with the new code of conduct for journalists, the press will be sympathetic to our situation and allow my wife and daughter to recuperate in private."

The Brummie comic is fiercely protective of his family.

He has said: "I would always put them first. My wife has been a quite remarkable person and mother.

"We have tried very hard to keep the children out of the limelight because I want them to have their own identity."

Lucy, who has appeared in Casualty and The Bill, trained at the Italia Conti School where she won a gold medal.

She refuses to trade on her father's fame to land roles.

Jasper added: "She has got where she is by her own efforts."
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Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Chaytor, Rod
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 24, 1997
Words:518
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