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Organ Donation Week 2017: Two members from the same Drayton family have life saving kidney transplants

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:43 07 September 2017

Nathan Blyth, who lives in Australia, with his aunt Tracey Harwood, left, from Taverham who has donated a kidney to him, and his mum, Patsy Blyth, of Drayton, who also has had a kidney transplant. Picture: David Blyth

Nathan Blyth, who lives in Australia, with his aunt Tracey Harwood, left, from Taverham who has donated a kidney to him, and his mum, Patsy Blyth, of Drayton, who also has had a kidney transplant. Picture: David Blyth

David Blyth

A family from Drayton is celebrating a new lease of life - for the second time - as two family members underwent kidney transplants after kidney disease threatened their lives.

Patsy and David Blyth of Drayton, whose son Nathan, living in Australia, has just received a kidney from Patsy's sister Tracey Harwood from Taverham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPatsy and David Blyth of Drayton, whose son Nathan, living in Australia, has just received a kidney from Patsy's sister Tracey Harwood from Taverham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

When Nathan Blyth was just 19, he was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease - a disease that causes cysts to form on the kidneys.

The devastating news prompted Nathan’s parents David and Patsy Blyth to be tested for the hereditary disease.

But initially they were told not to worry, until ten years later when Mrs Blyth found she had the same disease would need a transplant.

With two members of her family facing uncertain futures, Tracey Harwood, Mrs Blyth’s sister, immediately stepped in to be a donor.

Patsy and David Blyth of Drayton, whose son Nathan, living in Australia, has just received a kidney from Patsy's sister Tracey Harwood from Taverham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPatsy and David Blyth of Drayton, whose son Nathan, living in Australia, has just received a kidney from Patsy's sister Tracey Harwood from Taverham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“I didn’t even think twice,” Mrs Harwood said, “I just did it.”

But because Mrs Harwood needed prepare before the operation doctors said Mrs Blyth should join the deceased donor register while she waited.

It was then when they got the call an immediate donor had been found.

Mr Blyth said: “It was better than winning the lottery, it was absolutely fantastic.”

Mrs Blyth had the transplant, which was a success. But jubilation was interrupted by news about Nathan, by then living in Australia, whose kidneys were failing. He too then needed a transplant.

Once again Mrs Harwood stepped in and travelled to the other side of the world to save her nephew.

“If you can, do it. I didn’t think twice and just did it,” she said.

“Looking back on it now it feels fantastic.

“It was a lot of work but it was all worth it in the end as it’s saving a life.”

Mr Blyth said: “We footed the bill, but that doesn’t matter as you can’t put a price on life.

“The whole thing is completely unbelievable.”

The family stayed out in Australia for nearly two months as the pair recovered.

“I think if you can give everything you should. Let someone else have a life.” Mrs Harwood added.

To support Organ Donation Week go to www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/get-involved/ or to register as an organ donor got to www.organdonation.nhs.uk//register-to-donate/ - it only takes two minutes to register and could save someone’s life.

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