May 17, 2012 - 5:03 am
A story which is justifiably hitting the media in the UK this morning should be an inspiration for all of us. The above gentleman (and he is every inch the gentleman) has just donated one of his kidneys to a recipient on the UK register of people awaiting transplants. He will not be permitted to know the identity of the recipient so this is pure altruism. AND he is 83 years old, making him the oldest kidney (living) donor in British medical history.
He wanted to do "something useful" and investigated what he could offer. Apparently you can't give your blood here after age 70 [so I'm afraid my days as a blood donor are over :( ] and you can't give bone marrow after age 40. Undeterred, he investigated kidney donor possibilities, being aware of how much better it is to receive a transplant than to be on dialysis.
It was found that he had the kidneys of a 40-year-old so he went ahead. He was interviewed for the BBC breakfast news programme which went out a few minutes ago and mentioned that he had felt no pain with the op. was sent home with a box of pain-killers but hasn't needed to take any pain-killers at all!! I guess that's about as good a case of virtue rewarded that you could ever hope to hear. He was back to cycling and mowing his lawn within a week and we saw him in his garden - it's a very large and beautiful one, surrounding an exquisite picture-book country house with an immaculate thatched roof, set in the countryside of the south coast county of England called Hampshire.
I suppose this also illustrates, par excellence, the concept of "noblesse oblige". Nicholas Crace comes over as a highly intelligent and cultivated individual but also delightfully unpretentious. He had no obvious need to do what he did but chose to help an unknown fellow-being whose identity will not be made known to him. What a hero!
An online BBC health news report adds this:
NHS Blood and Transplant's lead nurse for living donation, Lisa Burnapp, said: "Mr Crace's example shows that people of all ages can potentially save and dramatically improve the lives of complete strangers by donating a kidney.
"One in three of all organ transplants in the UK is now from a living donor and living kidney donation currently helps to transform around three patients' lives every day."
Annabel Ferriman, who heads the charity Give a Kidney - One's Enough, said: "Altruistic donors are very special people.
"They have the imagination to understand the suffering that people go through on dialysis while waiting for a transplant and the courage and generosity to do something about it."