Selfless ex-GP who donated kidney to stranger says experience was 'intensely rewarding' - The Rugby Observer

Selfless ex-GP who donated kidney to stranger says experience was 'intensely rewarding'

Rugby Editorial 12th Mar, 2020 Updated: 12th Mar, 2020   0

A SELFLESS retired GP who donated one of his kidneys to a stranger two years ago is urging others to ‘Share Their Spare’ on World Kidney Day today (Thursday March 12).

Jim Newmark, 67, from Lutterworth, donated a kidney to an unknown person on the national transplant waiting list in 2018.

He described it as “an eminently rational and sensible thing to do”.

He said: “A few years ago, in continuing excellent health and with the added bonus of the freedom to make more choices, I looked at some of the accounts and videos from people who had donated on the Give a Kidney website.

“Individuals far more articulate than I were expressing so precisely what I was feeling and who were so exactly the sort of people I admired – quiet, reasoned, rational, modest, and inspiring. And, so I proceeded, and eventually, after a thorough raft of tests, donated in Spring 2018.

“Being on a ward with kidney patients gave me the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of the reality of living with renal failure and the possible effects that my action would have. I found the whole experience intensely rewarding.”

A new organ donation law comes into effect in England in May, meaning all adults will be considered an organ donor when they die unless they have opted out, or are in one of the excluded groups.

Jim said he was using the opportunity of World Kidney Day to remind people they can potentially help someone now, before they die.

He added: “Relatively few people die in circumstances that mean their organs can be donated, so living donation is still critical.”

The Give a Kidney charity, which raises awareness of living donation and supports people going through the process, said there are around 5,000 people in the UK on the waiting list for a kidney – and around 250 people die each year in need of one.

Chair Bob Wiggins said: “Kidneys from donors like Jim are incredibly valuable. Any healthy adult can volunteer as a living donor and more than 800 people in the UK have now donated one of their healthy kidneys to a stranger, changing hundreds of lives for the better.”

Lisa Burnapp, clinical lead for living donation at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “Living donors really are the game changers in the kidney sharing scheme. Particularly for the difficult to transplant patients, they make the world of difference.”

Any healthy adult can volunteer to be assessed as a living donor. Visit for more information.


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