Woman with 100-year-old kidney from mum 'still going strong'

Doctors usually estimate a transplant from a living donor will last 20 years at most.

London: An elderly woman in the UK with a 100-year-old kidney donated by her mother is still going strong, defying medical predictions over the organ's lifespan.
Sue Westhead was 25 when she was diagnosed with kidney disease in 1973.

When told a transplant was her only chance of survival, her mother Ann Metcalfe, then aged 57, donated her kidney to her daughter. Now Sue, 68, and her kidney are "still going strong". She said: "I think it's down to my mother's good genes. She must have come from good stock."

Sue, of Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham, had only one tenth of normal renal function when she was diagnosed. Recalling the time, she said: "I could hardly walk, I was a different colour - I was yellow and all of a sudden I had a rosy glow.
"It was a pretty scary time, even when I was still on the ward people were dying.
"My mum literally gave me life because I wouldn't have lived much longer."

Doctors usually estimate a transplant from a living donor will last 20 years at most, the BBC reported. But Sue said hers is "still going strong" 43 years on,
adding she has looked after herself and taken 20 pills a day to make sure the kidney was not rejected. She said: "I remember thinking 'if I get five years I'll
be happy'. That was 43 years ago and my kidney is heading for 101 years old in November.

In 1973, only between 30 per cent and 40 per cent of transplanted kidneys lasted for five years. Every three weeks Sue spends two hours arranging her pills for the days ahead - a task she does not enjoy, but one she realises must be done.
And she is delighted with the results. "I think [my mother] would've been astounded that it's lasted so long," says Sue. "Neither of us could possibly have
imagined this longevity.

"Each year when I get to the transplant date I think, 'Well, there's another year'. Long may it last." Commenting on Sue's case, Prof Derek Manas, president of
the British Transplantation Society, said: "It's an amazing story of encouragement and hope for people on dialysis and for encouraging people to donate as living donors or to join the Organ Donor Register. "I think Sue must be one of the longest survivors," Manas said.

( Source : PTI )
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