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Cake marks transplant kidney’s 30th anniversary

25 October 2012

Health Care

Just days after celebrating her 84th birthday, Violet Rosewell was blowing out candles again.

Her daughter Kaye Gordon surprised her with a healthily pink kidney-shaped cake to mark the thirtieth anniversary of her kidney transplant. They took the cake along to Southend University Hospital's renal unit to share with staff who have looked after Violet since she was given the life-saving kidney at the Royal London Hospital back in 1982.

For three years before the suitable organ became available, Violet was kept alive by dialysis after her kidneys failed when she was in her fifties. The machine was set up in her adapted home and her late husband Kenneth was allowed home early from work three times a week to put her on it and flush out the body's toxins.

Kaye recalls the ambulance dash to London while the kidney from an unknown donor was flown down to the capital. She said: "Mum had been extremely ill with kidney failure but, since the transplant, she has not looked back."

Violet, of Stadium Road, Southend, was able to enjoy holidays abroad with Kenneth before he sadly died 12 years ago and has lived to fulfil her wish of seeing her two grandchildren, now 24 and 26, grow up and forge successful careers.

She still attends Southend University Hospital's renal unit regularly for checks and credits their care for keeping her so well.

Now the whole family is urging others to go on the organ donor register.

Kaye said: "To give someone 30 years of life is brilliant. Mum's story really gives hope to other people facing a transplant." 

With pic: Violet Rosewell with consultant nephrologist Dr Fernando Moro-Azuela, daughter Kaye and renal unit manager Sister Maggie Farrell.