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Wendy celebrates anniversary with gift of husband's kidney.

A woman who found she had renal failure days before her first child was born will have a kidney transplant from her husband next week.

Wendy Brown, from Great Barr, was admitted to hospital after falling ill and had to give birth to daughter Lauren by Caesarean section at 35 weeks. The baby weighed just 4lb 12oz.

Mrs Brown, aged 29, said: 'It was a very happy occasion. But I was still shocked at being told I would need dialysis and a kidney transplant.

'One of the hardest things was being separated from Lauren for the first few weeks. I was so ill I had to stay in the maternity suite and she was taken on to a ward.

'I was worried we wouldn't bond, but it was fine. The nurses were brilliant and did a baby book for me with photographs of Lauren's first feed and first bath.'

Mrs Brown has been determined not to let her illness affect her relationship with Lauren, who is now aged two.

But she gets breathless, exhausted and needs to go out for dialysis three times a week for four hours.

Her husband Andy always wanted to be a donor, hoping that even though he is not a blood relative he would be a suitable match.

Mr Brown, aged 30, said: 'I've never had a minute of doubt about being a donor. I've seen Wendy struggling to look after Lauren, just doing the ordinary things you would normally take for granted.

'I've also met a lot of other patients who go for dialysis and it doesn't get any easier as time goes by. I just wanted Wendy and us all to have a better quality of life.'

The Browns celebrate their second wedding anniversary on Monday, but the following day they will go into the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston.

After the transplant, they will stay in hospital for ten days and Mr Brown will need at least five months off work.

QE transplant co-ordinator Mark Gordon said: 'I think a lot of people don't realise you can be a live donor even if you are not a blood relative.

'But spouses or close friends can donate a kidney, as long as their blood group is compatible with the patient.'


Wendy Brown with daughter Lauren and husband Andy
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 29, 2001
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