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Renal nurse donates her kidney to a stranger Maria Thompson

01 February 2019

A Scottish renal nurse who donated her kidney to a stranger after years of working with patients in need of a transplant, will run this year’s London Marathon for charity.

Rachel Cox (48) runs a hospital renal unit where, every day she witnesses the harsh realities of dialysis treatment on people whose kidneys have failed. Some die while on the waiting list.

Rachel Cox, renal nurse
Rachel Cox, renal nurse

The mother of two, who is now well into her tough training regime in preparation for the marathon, told Kidney Research UK she had known for a long time she wanted to be an alturistic donor.

She said: “My family thought I was crazy. My husband kept asking me if I was sure but never once did he say ‘don’t do it’. I had a few sessions with a psychologist to establish I was doing it for the right reasons – it’s something all donors go through.

“A life on haemodialysis is not easy and it’s not really a choice. It’s something I see every day and I wanted to do something to make at least one person’s life better. You can only give your kidney once and that’s why I couldn’t choose who to donate to.”

After the operation Rachel, who lives in Troon Ayrshire, said she felt tired and sore, but she was comforted by the fact she would soon start to feel well again.
A small scar on her torso is now the only reminder she has of the operation.

She added: “It is not something I’ve spoken about much in public because I don’t want other renal nurses to think it is something they should all do – I’m well aware this is my personal choice and not something anyone should feel pressured to do.”

Receiving a new kidney means patients are not only given the chance to live longer, it also frees them from the life limiting nature of having to travel to hospital at least three times a week for four hourly hemodialysis sessions.

Dialysis is a procedure to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys stop working.

To help Rachel’s fundraising visit her Virgin Giving Page.

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