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Wirral transplant patient marks 30 years since life-saving surgery
A WIRRAL grandmother who underwent a life-saving kidney transplant 30 years ago is urging others to sign up to the donor register.
Mary Goulbourn, from Birkenhead, was forced to have the surgery after her kidneys failed and left her dependent on dialysis.
The 62-year-old was diagnosed with her health problems while pregnant with her son, Mark, and she was later put on a strict low protein diet.r.
However as her condition worsened, a transplant became the only solution.
Now, as Mary approaches the 30th anniversary of the procedure at the Royal Liverpool Hospital on August 28, she wants to spread the message about the importance of organ donation.
The grandmother-of-two said: “When my kidneys packed in, I was told I needed a transplant and was put on the list.
Back then it wasn’t common at all and it all very new so we didn’t know much about the process at all.
“The doctors said I wouldn’t be able to have more children but I proved them wrong and went on to have my daughter, Claire.
“I cannot be thankful enough for my transplant and I think there should be more publicity about registering to the National Organ Donor Register.
In an ideal world, you would have your organs donated automatically unless you opted out and didn’t want to.”
Mary, a former secretary, was later diagnosed with osteoporosis due to the medication she was required to take following her transplant.
However she remains upbeat and grateful that she was able to have her life saved by the process.
She added: “It was terrible at the time but once it was over, you forget about it and it becomes normal. Sometimes I think about the transplant and what could have happened and it definitely brings you back down to Earth with a bang.
“I have got everything to be grateful for and I lived to tell the tale – I hope more people will be encouraged to sign up to the register.”
The Royal Liverpool University Hospital is also celebrating a landmark anniversary for carrying out kidney transplant operations for 40 years.
Abdul Hammad, clinical director and consultant transplant surgeon, said: “We are delighted that several of our patients are celebrating landmark anniversaries and we are honoured to be able to continue the work started 40 years ago.
“The number of kidney transplants being carried out at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital has increased annually. During 2011/2012 we achieved the highest number of transplants carried out in one year, since the unit opened in 1972, of 101 kidney transplants.
"A recent analysis of kidney transplants in the UK, highlighted that for patients needing a kidney transplant, they have the best chance of getting a transplant in Liverpool, due in part to our matching processes and having one of the lowest decline rate in the UK.” For more information, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk