Rotherham mum of three, Lee Colclough, is celebrating the one year anniversary of her life changing kidney transplant whilst preparing to compete for the first time in the World Transplant Games later this year.
Only a year after having her kidney transplant at the Northern General Hospital, Lee, age 52, has earned her place in the UK Badminton team following a gold medal win at her first transplant tournament in December.
Lee had been having dialysis since 2014 after discovering she had only 4% kidney function after suffering from Crescentic IgA Nephropathy. IgA is short for Immunoglobulin A which is one of the types of antibody our body produces to fight infection. In patients like Lee, IgA settles in the kidney and causes scarring and inflammation.
Lee, who will play as part of Sheffield Renal Transplant Team, said: “ I never had much energy when I was on dialysis but since having my transplant I feel much fitter and healthier. My three sons, husband and I have always enjoyed playing badminton and so when I saw a poster at the Sheffield Kidney Institute advertising Transplant Sport I went home and started looking for more information on the internet. I made a couple of enquiries and a few of days later I was asked to enter a tournament in Oxford in December. I ended up winning gold for singles and silver for doubles which was very exciting. I was asked to join Team GB and also to represent Great Britain in the World Transplant Games in August 2019 in Newcastle/Gateshead. It was an honour to be asked and I accepted straight away.”
Lee had her life changing kidney transplant from a deceased donor in February 2018. 2018 was a record year for all organ transplantation at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals including the 85 kidney transplants that were performed (20% more than in 2017).
Mr Ahmed Halawa, Consultant Transplant Surgeon, Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, who performed Lee’s operation said: “Lee’s story is a fabulous example of how organ donation can really make a difference to a person’s quality of life. Freeing patients from dialysis can have a huge impact on whole families and I am delighted to see Lee is now enjoying a new lease of life and becoming a recognised athlete. Kidney failure can be devastating as it is a lifestyle limitation illness. Organ donation is so important as it saves and changes lives. We are very grateful for Lee’s donor’s family and other like them who go through tragic experience and think about helping others at such a difficult time. We know that being on the organ donor register makes families decision on donating their loved once organs a lot easier in most cases.”
Lee added: “I would like to thank my donor’s family for allowing their loved one to give me this amazing gift. It takes just five minutes to sign up to be an organ donor. It is so quick and easy to do! There are thousands of people waiting for an organ and for their chance to live a healthy life. With a totally selfless act from you they have the chance to do this. I know it sounds very cliche but it really is the gift of life.”
If you would like more information on signing the donor register visit www.nhsbt.nhs.uk