AN ASHBOURNE man has described a letter he wrote to a living person who gave up their kidney to save his life.
Peter Mellor, 51, will never meet the person who donated his new kidney, which he needed after he started to lose his battle with an auto-immune disease, but he has written a letter thanking them for their act of kindness.
Last December Peter’s details were added to the NHS Organ Donor Register and five months later, he was contacted by the Nottingham transplant team with news that a living donor had come forward to give a kidney and Peter could be a potential match.
As soon as he was better, Peter and his partner Heather Wheeldon set about writing a letter, which they say is the hardest thing they have ever had to do.
He started by telling the donor how thankful he was. Then he went on to tell them about his life and how he and Heather each had two children.
He explained how much he loved walking his dogs – something he had been unable to do for the best part of a year.
He also wrote about being on potassium restrictions and not being able to eat things like vegetables, crisps and chocolate – and Heather’s homemade tomato soup.
He said: “I used to be involved in the Shrovetide Football game but I’ve been unable to play for a while.
“Last year, I just went to the special meal before the game kicked off.
“It would have been impossible for me to play. I’ve missed things like that. I’ve missed leading a normal life.
“I’m still a bit sore, but I’m fine. When I think that my renal failure was at 96 per cent, I can see just why I needed to sleep in the day.
“I can see why going out with the dogs was difficult. Everything was hard for me, but you don’t like to admit it. Now I feel really good.
Although Peter and Heather will never know who their donor was, they have been told that the patient is recovering well from the surgery.
He said: “I wanted the person to know just what their kidney has done for me. It has given me my life back.
“I have been able to go back to work, walk the dogs and eat homemade tomato soup again.
“I feel like a new man. I am so well. I felt better almost as soon as the operation was over.
“This gift can not be underestimated. This person has given me back my health. I will be forever grateful.”
He has also appealed for people to sign up to become donors themselves.
He added: “Please sign the organ donor register. You, too, could save a life.”
To find out more about the organ donor register visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk