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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 January, 2004, 14:16 GMT
Son donating kidney to ill father
Keith and Richard Forbes
The transplant should mean the end of dialysis for Keith Forbes
A Devon man who has been waiting for a kidney transplant for 10 years is to receive one donated by his son.

Keith Forbes, 47, from Exeter, said it was a difficult decision, but there is such a shortage of donors the only way he could get well again is by using the organ from his 20-year-old son, Richard.

Mr Forbes has been receiving dialysis at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (RDE) and has been carrying a pager with him for the years he has been needing the transplant, waiting for a call saying an organ was available.

The procedures will be carried out to remove Richard's kidney and transplant it into Keith at the Transplant Centre in Bristol next Monday.

It's a fantastic gesture of Keith's son
Professor Anthony Nicholls

Keith said: "I'm a little bit nervous about what's going to happen, but I'm very proud of him."

Tissue samples have to be a close match to prevent rejection.

Professor Anthony Nicholls said: "I'm a doctor, and I know this is the right thing for Keith and his son.

"But I'm also a father with a son of my own, so I have a human reaction with which I have to be sure this is the right thing - and I am.

"It's a fantastic gesture of Keith's son, but we'd only do this if it was the right thing."

Richard said he was looking forward to the day when he would no longer be a regular visitor to the RDE to see his father on dialysis.

Live transplants

He said of his impending procedure: "I might feel a bit uncomfortable after, but it'll be a case resting, getting better and then getting on with life."

Both he and his sister both offered to help. But, in the end, he was the best match.

The hospital said there was a shortage of donors which is why more families are considering live donor transplants.

But there has to be very careful discussion within families before such transplants go ahead.

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