Harpenden kidney transplant patient thanks complete stranger who stepped forward as donor

Louise and Kayleigh in hospital. Picture: Louise Sach

Louise and Kayleigh in hospital. Picture: Louise Sach - Credit: Archant

A woman who suffered with kidney failure for two decades has extended her deepest gratitude to a former stranger who became her transplant donor.

Left to right: Kayleigh Wakeling and Louise Sach

Left to right: Kayleigh Wakeling and Louise Sach - Credit: Archant

At just eight years old, Louise Sach was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure and all of its accompanying debilitating symptoms.

These include extreme fatigue, nausea, cramps, infertility, fluid retention, and a low immune system.

Louise successfully managed her condition for 20 years - through Harpenden’s St George’s School, at the University of Essex and then while working full-time in HR.

However, there was a nose dive in her kidney function to 13 per cent over the last year.

She was told if she did not get a transplant quickly, the 29-year-old would be forced to undergo dialysis. Out of 28 friends and family members who came forward, none were a perfect match without complications.

Fortunately a complete stranger, Kayleigh Wakeling, saw a Facebook appeal and offered to help.

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Louise said: “I am so overwhelmed because when I first did the Facebook page I wasn’t expecting there might be a donor from someone I didn’t know. It is the most touching thing I have ever felt, it’s incredible. It will make the biggest change, I was really getting to the point where working and doing day to day activities was a struggle.

“Most people functioning at the level I was functioning at don’t work or have a social life but I am career orientated and I care about my friends and family so it is difficult to get a balance.”

Beauty salon owner Kayleigh went under the knife with Louise on June 1 at Guy’s Hospital in London.

Louise said she cannot express her thanks enough: “Now my world is completely open, I can do anything I want to do - in theory I can travel the world, have children, I can work abroad, and I simply do not have to plan every single thing I do before I do it.

“I have my energy back - I already want to do things in a way I haven’t wanted to do them in a long time. It will make a huge difference to my career because I have had to limit myself to not doing as much but now I can get on with what I enjoy.”

Both Kayleigh and Louise are now campaigning for Kidney Research UK. For more information about the charity, visit www.kidneyresearchuk.org