Thanksgiving for life-saving kidney

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A MAN kept alive by a kidney dialysis machines for 30 YEARS is finally able to lead a normal life – thanks to his best friend.

Darren Ferguson’s kidneys started failing when he was just a few weeks old and he was forced to spend his entire life wired to a machine for up to three times a day.

“Without the dialysis removing the toxins from my blood, I would have died. Every day was a struggle and every day I was in pain,” he said.

Darren’s father Glen, the pastor of Faith Dimensions Ministries at Wolverton, never gave up hope that a miracle would happen and his son would be cured.

Even after two unsuccessful kidney transplants, one when Darren was 17 and one when he was 21, the Bletchley family never lost faith.

Last year, when Glen reached the age of 30, doctors decided to make one last ditch transplant attempt, this time using a live donor. But in a cruel twist of fate, Darren’s entire family tested negative for a match.

“The doctors told me to look further afield – to ask friends, acquaintances and anybody I knew if they would give me a kidney. But I just didn’t feel comfortable doing that. It was too much to ask.”

While Darren wrestled with his conscience, there was yet another tragedy when the young wife of his friend, Lee Serrigon, suddenly died of cancer she had battled so hard to beat.

But Lee’s mourning took an immediate and unusual turn.

Said Darren: “He came to me and said ‘I couldn’t do anything to save my wife, so I am determined now to help save you. I would like to give you my kidney’. My first reaction was to say no. He had been through enough. But he would not stop insisting.”

Eventually Darren agreed that Lee could be tested. Incredibly the 35-year-old teacher was declared a “match made in heaven.”

This month both men are fighting fit. For the first time ever Darren, who married his wife Amanda five years ago, can lead a full and active life – and even look forward to being a dad in the future.

On Saturday Darren is planning the ultimate happy ending – a thanksgiving concert to raise money for the Milton Keynes Renal Unit that kept him alive and the Oxford Kidney Transplant Centre that performed the operation.

The event, at Faith Dimensions, features a string of professional performers and Darren hopes to raise at least £2,000. Tickets at £8 are available on MK 221381 or 07716 254356 or by emailing