A mother from South Shields has given her daughter the gift of life for the second time by donating her a kidney.
When Lindsey Grimmer, 45, was told she needed a new organ by doctors, her 69-year-old mum Carol Hammond, immediately stepped up to the plate.
The grandmother-of-two, who owns the Anchor Guest House, in Ocean Road, South Shields, with her husband David, 69, said there was no doubt in her mind that she should give her daughter one of her kidneys.
She said: “As the day got closer, I did get a little worried but I knew I was going to save my daughter’s life.
“If I could go back in time, I’d still do it.
She added: “The doctors said there was a risk I could die but they have to say that. I never had any doubt that I was doing the right thing.”
As the day got closer, I did get a little worried, but I knew I was going to save my daughter’s life, and if I could go back in time I’d still do it.Carol Hammond
The mother and daughter had the surgery on January 14 at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
They are now both resting up at home under the care of David, who says he’s already lost count of the cups of tea he’s made.
Lindsey said: “There’s still a chance that my body could reject the kidney but the doctors say it started to work immediately so it’s looking good.
“My mam saved my life and I don’t know how I can ever properly thank her for that. All I can tell her is how happy and how grateful I am.”
Lindsey, who lives with daughters Rebecca, 18, and Chloe, 15, on the Lawe Top, South Shields, first started having kidney problems after her eldest child was born.
She said: “Everything about a woman’s body is supposed to go back to normal after pregnancy – but it didn’t for me.
“I had tests and they found scars on my kidneys. They called it chronic renal disease and said I’d probably had it since I was born.
“I’ve been having treatment for the last 18 years, taking medication and going for regular check-ups at Sunderland Royal Hospital and I’ve always been told I’d need a transplant at some point.”
But it was 18 months ago when Lindsey’s kidney function dropped to just 10% and doctors told her they’d have to begin searching for a donor organ.
Carol, who is also mum to Kevin, 41, said: “They asked if there was anyone in the family who could donate a kidney, and myself and a few other family members were tested, but I was the only match.
“I didn’t even think about it. I just said ‘yes’. I was scared, but it was never a question. I’m in a little bit of discomfort now, but it’s a small price to pay.
“The doctors told me that it was never too late to change my mind, even right up to me being on the operating table. But there was no way I would have changed it.”
Lindsey added: “I was more worried about my mam. I was obviously over the moon but worried at the same time. They said it was either a transplant or dialysis, and my mam said she didn’t want me to have to have dialysis.
“I’m just so grateful to my mam, and my dad for looking after us.”
David was unable to step forward himself having had one of his kidneys removed nine years ago after a battle with cancer, but said that he couldn’t be prouder of his wife and his daughter.
He said: “I’ve been telling everyone about what they’ve done. I’m just so proud of them both.”
When Lindsey Grimmer needed a kidney transplant, her family members stepped up to be tested.
Her mum Carol Hammond was the only person to be a match and had to undergo a range of tests herself to make sure she was healthy enough to have the operation.
Carol had keyhole surgery to remove the donor organ in a three-and-a-half hour operation.
Lindsey’s procedure was much more severe.
She had to have conventional surgery so that doctors could remove her failing organ and replace it with her mum’s.
The operation lasted six hours.
Now the pair are recovering at home, and doctors think they’ll be both be back on their feet in a few months.