Posted on Friday 19 June 2015
Phil and Charlotte after the successful transplant.
A 15-year-old girl has named the kidney she received from her father in a transplant operation “Bobby” in honour of his hero, the legendary footballer Bobby Moore.
Charlotte Archer-Gay and her dad Phil will be spending a particularly special Father’s Day together at their home near Romford, in north east London.
Earlier this year Phil had one of his kidneys removed at Guy’s Hospital so that it could be transplanted to Charlotte, who had suffered kidney failure two years ago.
Both operations were successful and father and daughter are recovering well, with Charlotte now attending school every day.
Charlotte says: “I named my dad’s kidney Bobby because on the day of our transplant he was wearing a top with Bobby Moore on and he told me he was wearing it because Bobby Moore is his hero. Dad is my hero and so I thought the name was perfect.”
“Since receiving my dad’s kidney my life has changed completely. I get to spend much more time with my friends and doing the things I love. I feel a lot more normal and this makes me so happy.
“I can’t put into words how grateful I am for what my dad did for me. It gives us a connection that not many people have and to say I am thankful would never be enough.”
Before the transplant Charlotte had been dependent on receiving dialysis treatment four nights each week, had to put up with severe diet restrictions, and could not take part in sports and other activities.
The family had set up a medical room in the downstairs of their house with a dialysis machine where Charlotte would sleep, but following the transplant Charlotte can sleep upstairs in her own bedroom every night.
Phil Gay, 48, says: “I feel very privileged and very proud to be able to donate my kidney to help my daughter. Our hearts have been broken over the last four years seeing our beautiful daughter fight a terrible condition.
“The transplant’s been a brilliant success and it’s great to see Charlotte and the whole family living a normal life again. We’ve benefited from first-class care and expertise from the transplant team and I hope our story helps to show the importance of organ donation.”
There are almost 30,000 people in the UK who, like Charlotte, are living with a working kidney transplant. Guy’s and St Thomas’ is a major centre for kidney transplantation, carrying out over 200 kidney transplants each year.
Nizam Mamode, consultant transplant surgeon at Guy’s and St Thomas’, says: “It's great to see that the transplant has been such a success for Charlotte and for Phil. Organ transplants are truly life-changing and it's wonderful that a father can help his daughter like this.
“There are still a significant number of patients waiting for a transplant. In the UK three people die each day while in need of an organ and there are currently around 10,000 people in need of an organ transplant. It remains as crucial as ever for people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.”
Anyone can join the NHS Organ Donor Register. Age is not a barrier to being a donor and neither are most medical conditions. More information can be found at www.organdonation.nhs.uk.