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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 April 2006, 23:56 GMT 00:56 UK
'It's a win-win situation for us'
David and Lindsey Clark
David and Lindsey are seriously considering paired donation
Guidelines are to be changed to allow strangers to donate organs for transplant.

For David Clark, who is currently on the waiting list for a new kidney, this could increase his chance of getting the transplant he desperately needs.

David, 49, suffers from polycystic kidney disease (PKD).

It is an inherited disease where numerous cysts grow on the kidneys, causing them to enlarge and, in many cases, eventually fail.

"My father had PKD. There is a 50-50 chance of whether you get it or not, but I've been a bit unlucky really," he said.

In September 2001, David's kidneys failed completely and he had to go on dialysis whilst waiting for a new organ.

Fifteen months later, a match came up and the transplant went ahead, but unfortunately his body rejected the kidney.

"It was like stepping back. You do the dialysis and you hope that one day it is going to end because you are going to get a transplant.

"I got the transplant, and then unfortunately it failed, and it is back to dialysis," he said.

It will give us the chance for Lindsey to be able to donate to somebody and for somebody to donate to me
David Clark

New hope

David is on the dialysis machine for four hours, three times a week.

He says it isn't as bad as it could be as he doesn't have to travel into hospital as he has a machine at home that he and his wife Lindsey, a head teacher, are trained to use.

Lindsey wanted to donate a kidney to David, but tests showed their blood types did not match.

And because two of his siblings also suffer from PKD, and his other sister is not a suitable match, his only option left was the organ waiting list.

"I was very upset when I found out that we didn't match - I felt very bad for David because he was going through such as difficult time," said Lindsey.

But from the autumn, David may have another avenue for transplantation open to him.

New legislation will allow what is called "paired" donation.

This essentially means that a donor and recipient pair, who are mismatched, can be paired with another couple in the same situation, and if blood and tissue tests are positive then the recipient from one pair can take an organ from the donor, and vice versa.

David and Lindsey are seriously considering this option.

"This new paired donation will be absolutely terrific because it will give us the chance for Lindsey to be able to donate to somebody and for somebody to donate to me," said David.

"It's got to be good because it makes more kidneys available that wouldn't be otherwise, and it will also get two people off the waiting list."

"It's a win-win situation," agreed Lindsey.

"There have got to be other people out there like us. If I can help somebody who can help us, then I think that would be great."


SEE ALSO:
Q&A: The Human Tissue Authority
25 Apr 06 |  Health
Could you save Sarah's life?
22 Apr 06 |  Health


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