Lancaster dad recovers after donating kidney to stranger

Photo Neil Cross
Mark Houghton, 52, has donated his kidney to a complete stranger
Photo Neil Cross Mark Houghton, 52, has donated his kidney to a complete stranger
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A fitness fanatic wants to lace up his running shoes just weeks after donating a kidney to a stranger.

Mark Houghton, from Ellel, near Lancaster, underwent surgery a few weeks ago to give away his kidney and is already considering taking part in a 5k this weekend.

The 53-year-old dad is determined to get back on track after his operation which saw him spend five days in hospital.

“I’m doing pretty good at the moment, I would say I am about 95 per cent fit,” said the dad-of-two.
“I’m probably going to be about jogging tomorrow and may do the Park Run event down south.”

Mark believes his decision to donate was two-pronged with the first being his gratitude of his own good health after he decided to give up alcohol when realising he was drinking far too much.

“Like a lot of people, I was alcohol dependent,” said Mark, a self employed handyman.

“I used to drink way too much and was probably a borderline alcoholic.

“Then almost four years ago, I made a decision to give up drink.

“In the last week before I gave up drink, I was drinking a bottle of whisky every day.
I just knew I had to stop this and give up alcohol and luckily I managed to give up.

“I have not had an alcoholic drink since.”

Mark was heartened to find that despite his heavy drinking, he hadn’t done any permanent harm to his body.

He says: “I am really fortunate as my health has been unaffected.

“I felt very lucky to have given up the booze and come away unscathed and I wanted to take something positive from that.

“I wanted to do something of genuine good.”

Mark, who also volunteers for Samaritans, was apprehensive before he went under the knife but was glad he was able to save someone’s life.
“I am so happy I had the opportunity to do this. How often do you have the chance to change someone else’s life?

“The person who received my kidney may have been on dialysis and to have this transplant may have changed their life.”

Mark didn’t want to find out who would be receiving his kidney. The handyman is pleased with his recovery and will be returning to work in a couple of weeks.