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TRANSATLANTIC TRANSPLANT; Scot Chris donates kidney to USA uncle he has never met.

Byline: Robert Fairburn

A BRAVE Scot is to donate one of his kidneys to an uncle in America he has never met.

Chris Goodwin, 20, hopes the transatlantic transplant will extend his sick relative's life by 10 years.

And he's set to fly out to the US from Scotland to meet Eddie Goodwin, 44, for the first time ahead of the operation.

Eddie, who lives in Alabama, has hereditary kidney disease Alport syndrome.

He desperately needs a transplant and his nephew agreed to be a donor after discovering he was a match.

Chris will travel over on Sunday for tests to ensure he is fit enough.

If given the all-clear, the operation will take place next month.

Expect His life-saving deed comes just four years after he first got in touch with his relatives in America.

But Chris, who will spend three months in the US, believes it's his duty to help out.

He said: "Eddie is family and he's unwell. You kind of expect family to do something like this for each other, even though I've never met him. I'd like to think someone would do the same for me."

Eddie's daughter Stephanie yesterday paid a glowing tribute to Chris.

The 20-year-old, who also has the disease so can't help her father, said: "My cousin is doing a very brave thing. My dad is very grateful - we all are.

"Dad really needs this. He is on a waiting list for a transplant but has been told he could wait another three years. He has been on dialysis for seven years. Some people don't make it that long.

"Chris is a hero in our eyes." Alport syndrome is the second most common inherited cause of kidney failure and develops when a type of collagen normally found in the kidney is missing.

Chris - a volunteer worker in the Escape Youth Cafe in his home town of Hawick, Roxburghshire - explained: "Last September, my brother Gary went over without doing any tests and he found he wasn't a match.

"I got a blood test done here and it proved I was a match.

"Eddie's really unwell. He has been on dialysis and he takes a lot of tablets.

"It is getting to the stage where he needs a transplant as soon as possible.

"He said this is his last chance to get better. It was a big decision - it wasn't something I jumped straight into."

Former Walmart worker Eddie spent some time in Scotland as a kid with his brother, Chris's dad, before being taken to the States by their mum, Marjory.

He lives in Enterprise, Alabama, with Stephanie and two other children who have also been ruled out as donors.

Chris admits he's anxious about the transplant - and about getting on a plane for the first time.

He added: "I am nervous as I've never flown before and I've never even been further than Scarborough."

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SWAP OP: Chris will fly to the US to donate a kidney to his uncle Eddie, inset
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 5, 2009
Words:502
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