Saturday, 15 December 2007

Cornish nurse Barbara Ryder donates kidney

This must be the most heartwarming story of the month if not the year. Barbara Ryder who is 59 and comes from Launceston is a nurse at Derriford Hospital. It is now possible for someone to make an altruistic donation of a kidney and Barbara is one of four people in this country who have done this. The rules are such that she had no input as to who would receive the organ and of course a deciding factor was in finding someone with a good match.

Retired carpenter Andy Loudon, 68 from Bedfordshire was the lucky person to receive Barbara's gift and yesterday saw them meet up in London for the first time. Recorded by the cameras the moment had to be a wonderfully emotional and happy experience for both of them. With constant stories in the media about selfishness and money grabbing what a lovely contrast this has proved to be. I've always believed in the better aspects of human nature and applaud Barbara for her selfless act.

A final thought: it fascinates me that the human body has evolved in such a way that this particular organ, the kidney, seems to have duplicated itself for no obvious reason as we can get by with just one. Regardless of this I don't think many of us would contemplate giving our 'spare' kidney to a stranger!

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