Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Donor dad gives son a new lease of life - icWales

Donor dad gives son a new lease of life - icWalesDonor dad gives son a new lease of life
Mar 10 2008 by Madeleine Brindley, Western Mail

As their first son was born, Meredydd and Michelle Owen were advised to plan his funeral. But almost four years later, Connor is a thriving and energetic child after receiving the gift of life from his dad. As World Kidney Day approaches on Thursday, Health Editor Madeleine Brindley reports on meeting the young family

IF YOU ask three-year-old Connor Owen what’s in his tummy, he will proudly tell you that he has his own kidney.

Yet for most of his life Connor has lived without these vital organs, dependent on dialysis to keep his small body alive.

He has amazed his medical team, who had advised parents Meredydd and Michelle to plan his funeral, fearing he would only live for a few moments after birth.

But Connor has continued to defy his prognosis, and, after receiving his kidney from his father in December, now bounds around the family home, on the outskirts of Pontypool, with all the energy and enthusiasm of any other child of his age. A blue teddy, originally bought for his funeral, has become one of Connor’s favourites, accompanying him throughout his treatment.

Meredydd, 31, said, “The transplant was to improve his quality of life – we thought he had quite a good quality of life before as he was active and developing as any normal child would.

“It affected his eating, but in terms of everything else, he seemed to be doing ok.”

Michelle added, “After the transplant it hit us like a ton of bricks – Connor has so much energy, he zooms around everywhere and he’s eating pretty much everything all the time.

“Even though we spent three-and-a-half years talking about this and waiting for this to happen, the difference it has had on our lives is huge.”

The couple, who also have a six-year-old daughter Caitlyn and have become committed Kidney Wales Foundation supporters, knew that there was something wrong with Connor when they went for their 20-week scan – one of his kidneys had atrophied and the other had less than 10% function.

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