The lives of a father and son are returning to normal, just over a year after Phil Marlow gave his son Jamie the gift of life.
Phil donated one of his kidneys to Jamie, and the pair are now recovering well from the major surgery.
And as Organ Donation Week approaches next week, Phil is keen that others learn from his family’s story – that organ transplants are nothing to fear and can change lives.
Phil, a former instructor at HMP Lancaster Farms, is now fully recovered and working as a self-employed builder following the lifesaving surgery last April.
Meanwhile, Jamie and his wife Charlotte have since welcomed a new addition to their family, with four-month-old Spencer joining Amelia, eight, and five-year-old twins Jaxson and Maisie.
“We are both doing fine,” Phil, 52, said. “Jamie is still recovering but is doing well. You have to take things easier, watch your diet and be sensible. But I was back at work after 12 weeks and feeling fine.
“Jamie has to go back to be monitored every three months, and I have a check-up every year.”
Jamie was first diagnosed with kidney disease in 2010, after being admitted to hospital suffering sickness, exhaustion and major swelling.
However, eventually his medication stopped working and he was told he would need a transplant.
The family all volunteered as donors and dad Phil proved to be a perfect match.
Phil underwent a four-hour operation to remove one kidney, before surgeons had just 17 minutes to transfer the kidney to Jamie’s body, in an operation lasting three hours.
Phil is now encouraging people to sign up to be live organ donors.
There are around 6,000 people on the waiting list for a kidney transplant in the UK.
Around 300 people in need of a kidney die each year.
He said: “Don’t wait until something like this happens to you, sign up. I would say to anybody that is having to donate an organ, whether it’s for family or not, there is absolutely nothing to worry about.”
Phil said his biggest joy now is seeing his son living life to the full again.
“It’s a great feeling afterwards when you can see the benefit that someone is having from it,” he said. “That will stay with me the rest of my life.
“I feel really proud of what I did, and seeing Jamie with his wife and children is an even better feeling. He is just getting on with a normal life now which is great to see.”