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A woman who was told she would die without a new kidney had an incredible stroke of luck after her dog sniffed out a potential donor – on a beach.
Lucy Humphrey was on dialysis and suffering from kidney failure after fighting lupus for the last 15 years when her pet Doberman, Indie, kept approaching a stranger.
And it turned out that stranger, Katie James, lipitor and diabetes in males was a one-in-22 million perfect match for Lucy, and had only recently joined the organ donor register, The Sun reports.
Lucy, 44, was visiting Cold Knap beach, Barry Island, South Wales, with her partner Cenydd Owen, and went over to apologise to Katie because her dog kept on bothering her.
The couple invited Katie to join their barbecue and Lucy, from Newport, explained: ‘She brought some drink over with her and offered me some.
‘Cenydd explained I couldn’t drink as I was on dialysis. He said she’s waiting for a kidney transplant.
‘Katie replied “That’s mad, I’ve just gone on the kidney donation register”.’
Cenydd asked her who Katie was donating her kidney to and Katie said ‘anyone who wants it’ – so they swapped numbers and contacted a donor coordinator the next day.
Lucy added: ‘She had all the tests and it turned out she was a perfect match.
‘A surgeon told us it’s a one-in-22 million chance to find the perfect match, and that’s what I needed as I’ve got Lupus.
‘They did tell me a few years back I only had about five years.
‘Dialysis doesn’t work forever and you can only have so many access lines put in as well.’
Katie added: ‘I’m a dog lover so I was very happy when Indie came over to me while I was sitting there crocheting.
‘One doctor said it was the hand of God — more like the hand of dog if you ask me.
‘I’ve wanted to donate a kidney since I first heard it was a “thing” over 20 years ago.
‘I applied a few years ago and was put in for a pooled donation to a stranger, which I was more than happy about.
‘Then Covid ruined everyone’s lives and the process almost came to a halt.
‘I’m excited I can give Lucy the camping life I’ve enjoyed these past few years and she’s excited to be able to pee like a normal person – though that novelty will wear off soon, I’m sure.
‘I have two healthy kidneys and I only really need one.
‘Lucy spends three days a week for four hours a day, hooked up to dialysis. That sounds like my idea of hell.’
The two women had their transplant at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff last October, and Lucy is now fully recovered and living a normal life.
She’s now able to enjoy a gin and tonic again and described Katie as a ‘wonderful, selfless person’ who she can’t thank enough.
But while stories like this are heartwarming, Kidney Care UK warns that there are around 7,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant – and encourages people to join the donation register if they can.
For more information on donating a kidney, visit the NHS website.
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