Woman donates kidney to husband after they turn out to be ‘one in 22 million’ match

They were told the odds of a spouse being a match were a staggering one in 22 million and they had more chance of winning the lottery

A woman has donated a kidney to save the life of her husband after they were found to be a 22 million-to-one match. Donna Creed, 49, gave seriously-ill partner Darren, 51, "the greatest gift" after he spent more than a decade suffering with polycystic kidney disease.

The couple proved they are the perfect match after Darren was told last August he was unlikely to survive unless he underwent the life-saving operation. Friends and family all volunteered to step forward but the pair were left stunned when selfless Donna - who was first to be tested - turned out to be a suitable donor.

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Dad-of-two Darren says they were told the odds of a spouse being a match were a staggering one in 22 million and they had more chance of winning the lottery.

The couple, who have been together 33 years, are now recovering after undergoing the transplant last month but said it had already transformed their lives.

Darren, from Leicester, said: "I can’t put into words how thankful I am, it is the best gift she could ever give me. She’s given me the gift of life.To hear the odds were 22 million to one was just staggering - there’s more chance of us winning the lottery."

Darren was diagnosed with the renal condition 12 years ago until his kidney function fell to just 19 per cent last year, leaving him with severe exhaustion. The chef lecturer at Loughborough College was told he would potentially face long-term dialysis unless a donor could be found for a transplant operation.

Donna Creed and husband Darren at home in LeicesterDonna Creed and husband Darren at home in Leicester
Donna Creed and husband Darren at home in Leicester
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Darren added: "It all started about 12 years ago, when we had a personal trainer come in through work which I signed up for. But when they did tests to check if you can be part of the programme they found my blood pressure was high so I went to my GP for further checks.

"They called me back for the test results on the day we were going away on holiday and they told me I had polycystic kidney disease. The bags were literally packed so we went away for the weekend and it was only when we researched it we thought ‘Jesus, this is quite serious’.

Darren was put on a drug which slowed down the progress of the disease, but in August last year his liver function dropped to below 19 per cent which meant he would need a donor.

"I wasn’t too hopeful as the odds were so long. We went away and asked family and friends and lots of people volunteered to be tested. But the first person who was tested was Donna and incredibly it was the first time lucky as she turned out to be a match,” he said.

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The couple underwent to operation last month, and although Darren is still recovering he can “already feel a difference.”"

Woman donates kidney to husband after they turn out to be ‘one in 22 million’ matchWoman donates kidney to husband after they turn out to be ‘one in 22 million’ match
Woman donates kidney to husband after they turn out to be ‘one in 22 million’ match

“It has not only transformed the life of myself, it has transformed the entire family and we can now enjoy doing more things together. I can’t say thanks enough to Donna, she has saved my life."

Donna, a hotel manager, said the organ transplant, which was carried out at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital, was "the greatest gift" she could give to a loved one.

She said: "We genuinely didn’t think I was going to be a match because the chances are so slim but every test we had came back looking like it was matching.

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“It was like getting my husband back from 25 years ago. He was laughing and joking where he had been so tired before.”

Urging others to consider organ donation, she added: "It is great to be able to do this for your husband, a member of your family or even a total stranger.

""It’s such a gift to give for just a week of discomfort."

The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust’s transplant lead specialist nurse Charlotte Crotty said: "It’s fantastic that Donna and Darren were a match.

"She has given him an amazing gift and you can see it has transformed their lives and the lives of their whole family."

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