A nurse who donated a kidney to a stranger after watching patients suffer on dialysis at a renal unit revealed her family thought she was “crazy” for the act of generosity.
Mum-of-two Rachel Cox went under the knife two years ago, so a kidney could be removed and given to someone waiting on the transplant list.
Compassionate Rachel, 48, runs a hospital renal unit at Crosshouse Hospital, Ayrshire, where she has seen the the harsh realities of dialysis treatment on people whose kidneys have failed.
Rachel said: “My family thought I was crazy.
“My husband kept asking me if I was sure but never once did he say ‘don’t do it’.
“I had a few sessions with a psychologist to establish I was doing it for the right reasons – it’s something all donors go through.
“A life on haemodialysis is not easy and it’s not really a choice.
“It’s something I see every day and I wanted to do something to make at least one person’s life better.
“You can only give your kidney once and that’s why I couldn’t choose who to donate to.”
After the operation in 2017, Rachel, who lives in Troon, Ayrshire, said she felt tired and sore, but was comforted by the fact she would soon start to feel well again.
She now has a small scar on her torso as a reminder of the operation.
Rachel said: “It is not something I’ve spoken about much in public because I don’t want other renal nurses to think it is something they should all do.
“I’m well aware this is my personal choice and not something anyone should feel pressured to do.”
She is now training for the London Marathon, raising funds for Kidney Research UK.
To donate, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?pageId=988198
by Sarah Ward