A retired GP was one of the UK’s first 500 people to donate a kidney to a stranger and has since completed a triathlon and and cycled across France and Spain.
NHS Blood and Transplant revealed that Dr Giles Smith, who worked at The Grove Surgery in Thetford for 32 years, has become one of the first to make such a generous donation in the 10 years since the law was changed.
He said: “There are currently more than 5000 people waiting for a kidney in the UK and around 300 people die each year in need of one. I had two perfectly healthy ones and only needed one to live a full and normal life.
“Donating a kidney was a life enhancing experience for me and hopefully for someone else too.”
This non-directed (altruistic) living kidney donation took place at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, and in the five years since his donation Dr Smith has completed a Triathlon and cycled from St Malo to Santiago De Compostella.
Bob Wiggins Chair of charity Give a Kidney which raises awareness of non-directed kidney donation said: “We’re encouraging everyone to consider if you could share your spare. Many people still don’t know that any healthy adult can volunteer as a living donor.
“As a result of people like Giles, many hundreds of lives have been changed for the better. Not only that, but together this group has already saved the NHS tens of millions of pounds over the cost of keeping the recipients of their kidneys on dialysis treatment.”
Find out more about kidney donation at www.giveakidney.org and to register your wish to donate your organs after your death go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk