Page last updated at 05:46 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 06:46 UK

Woman 'transformed' by kidney op

Gloria Owens
Gloria Owens after her kidney transplant in 1982 and as she is now

A woman whose life was "transformed" by a kidney transplant 26 years ago says she is disappointed health AMs have rejected the idea of presumed consent.

Gloria Owens, 61, from Swansea, received her new kidney in 1982.

She said changing the rules in Wales on how organs are sourced for donation would "benefit the whole of the UK".

She said: "I would dearly love everyone to have the chance of having the gift of life I've had - I have friends who have been waiting a long time."

Mrs Owens began having kidney problems from the age of 19. She began dialysis in her early 30s and was 35 when she received a new kidney.

She and a male patient shared the kidneys of the donor. All they know is that donor had been at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport.

She said: "It changed my life completely. I could go back to work, I could travel. I could do all things I could do before. I could eat and drink what I wanted.

Gloria Owens (left) and Diana Masters
At the Organ Donor Memorial Stone in Cathay's Gardens, Cardiff

"Dialysis only keeps you at a modicum of health. You aren't really well. You could drink fluids, but only about 500ml a day. You couldn't eat certain food like fruit. It was really very strict.

"But if people need a new heart or lung or liver, they can't fall back on dialysis. They will die if they don't get that organ. It is something that public are not always aware of.

"You are more likely to need a transplant than you are to become a potential donor."

Mrs Owens said she was "very disappointed" by the health committee's decision.


She said: "We know there's an acute shortage of organs and people are waiting. People do die waiting for an organ.

"If we had presumed consent, there would be an increase in organs, it's been proven in other countries.

"If Wales was able to introduced this law unilaterally, it would benefit the whole of the UK. Organs go to the best matched individual, wherever they are. It wouldn't only benefit Wales."


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