“I’m doing this is so another child isn’t living without a mum”: British woman becomes first person in UK to donate kidney to Facebook stranger

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Anna Pollitt

A British woman has become the first person in the UK to donate a kidney to a complete stranger on Facebook.

Louise Drewery, 37, saw a desperate appeal by Darren Hewitt on behalf of his 26-year-old daughter Stacey, who was suffering from chronic kidney disease that left her constantly tired and facing lifelong dialysis.

This was the Facebook post that changed both women's lives:

"Good evening ladies and gents, is there anyone out there that would like to donate a kidney to help my daughter?
She has kidney disease and needs a transplant as soon as possible.
Myself and my wife have had tests but are not able to donate due to different blood groups and low function in our kidneys.
She is the mother of our three-year-old grandson and finds it hard to function properly because of the illness.
Thank you for your time."

Louise, who lives in Lincolnshire with her husband and two children, was so moved by the request that she contacted Darren with the selfless offer to help his daughter.

kidney surgey

Around 5,600 NHS patients are currently on a waiting list for a kidney transplant

Tests discovered that Louise's organ was a suitable match for Stacey, who lives 110 miles away in Redcar, and the pair travelled to Newcastle's Freeman Hospital for the operation, The Mirror reported.

The transplant was a success and is believed to be the first ever live organ donation in Britain sparked by a Facebook appeal.

"People ask me if it's for family or a friend, but they're shocked when I say it's for a total stranger," Louise says. "My biggest fear was not waking up and my kids being without a mum, when the reason I'm doing this is so another child isn't living without a mum."

An eternally grateful Stacey says: "It's amazing and I can't thank her enough. She could have backed out at any moment - it takes a lot of guts to give an organ to someone you don't know."

Around 5,600 NHS patients are currently on a waiting list for a kidney transplant, according to charity Give A Kidney, which encourages living donations - arguing that most people are born with two kidneys but can lead a healthy life with only one.

Stacey and Louise tell their story in Gift of Life, a new series starting on Channel 5 on Wednesday at 10pm.

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Anna Pollitt

Anna is a freelance writer and editor who’s been making her dime from online since 2007. She’s a regular at, ITV News and Emerald Street and moonlights as a copywriter and digital content consultant. The baby is borrowed.

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