Gift of life brings sisters even closer together
Kidney swap sisters Nadine Aspden and Diane Lawler are closer than ever after transplant surgery proved a lifesaver.
Both women are out of hospital and "doing well" following a transplant operation in which one sister gave the other the precious gift of life.
Less than two weeks ago Nadine was critically ill after her remaining kidney had all-but packed in.
Today she is "feeling great" and looking forward to living a normal life because Diane volunteered to donate one of her kidneys to give her kid sister the chance of a healthy future.
"Before the operation my kidney function was down to just five per cent and I was struggling," said Nadine, recuperating at home with her family in Penwortham.
"Now I'm up to more than 50 per cent - it's eight years since I was that level - and it is getting better every day.
"I can't say thank you enough to Diane for giving me her kidney. Words just don't cover it."
Nadine, 55, and Diane, 59, spent less then a week in Manchester Royal Infirmary and are now in rehab after their surgery.
"Diane should be back to normal in four to six weeks, but for me it will be a longer process because of the danger of organ rejection," explained Nadine. "I will have to attend hospital three times a week for about four months to check my body isn't rejecting it.
"To be fair the whole thing went very smoothly and, considering we have both had major surgery, we seem to be doing really well."
Nadine had end stage renal failure when doctors decided a transplant was the only alternative to the grim prospect of a life on dialysis.
Diane, who lives in Lostock Hall, proved the perfect match for her sister after a battery of tests over an 18-month period. So the two went under the knife in adjacent theatres.
"Diane had never had any surgery before and she felt it wasn't as bad as she thought it would be. But she's really brave and her surgery was more major than mine. She says four to six weeks is not long to give to help save someone's life.
"My new kidney - Diane's kidney - started working marvellously straight away. Obviously she's looked after it.
"Apart from the soreness from the operation, I'm feeling great. I've gone three days without having a nap in the chair and I feel like I've got much more energy.
"So it's onwards and upwards. We are over the worst and it's just a case of getting stronger and stronger.
"My intention is to stay fit and healthy, I'm going to eat healthier, although there aren't any restrictions really. I can have fish and chips if I want and some treats.
"There will be no binge drinking - that's not like me anyway - but I can have the odd glass of wine if I like.
"I'm just going to look after myself and enjoy my new lease of life. And it is all down to my wonderful sister Diane."