Patients’ praise kidney unit’s 10 years of care

Terence Hartley, Denise Ford, five-month-old Harry Smith, Clare Beckham and Chris Smith at the Shay Stadium to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Renal Unit at Calderdale Royal Hospital
Terence Hartley, Denise Ford, five-month-old Harry Smith, Clare Beckham and Chris Smith at the Shay Stadium to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Renal Unit at Calderdale Royal Hospital
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Hospital staff, patients and their families past and present came together to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the dialysis unit at Calderdale Royal Hospital.

Set up as a satellite unit by the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust it marked a major step forward for local renal patients.

It avoided the need for patients to travel to Leeds three times a week for treatment.

More than a 100 people attended a lunch at the Shay stadium and shared stories and thanked the unit’s staff.

Denise Ford, 49, of Wheatley, told the Courier of her four-way “live paired donor transplant” which involved her father, Terence Hartley, 69, of Mixenden.

Just before her 40th birthday she suffered renal failure brought on by high blood pressure.

By 2005 the teaching assistant at Luddenden Foot Academy was having dialysis treatment in Leeds.

She later got a place at the Halifax unit and in 2007 her father was tested to see if he was a suitable match to donate a kidney to her.

He wasn’t, but after extensive tests was found to be an acceptable donor and in December 2008 father and daughter were matched with a couple in Manchester.

Mr Hartley’s healthy kidney was transplanted into the ill woman and her husband’s healthy kidney was transplanted into Denise’s body.

Denise said it was normal for a family loved one to want to donate a kidney under such circumstances rather than waiting - without guarantees - for a deceased donor.

“It’s another route,” she said.

“We both now feel fantastic and it has given me my life back.”

Terence said he was subjected to stringent medical tests.

“And, I have not looked back since,” he said.

Both praised staff at Calderdale and the Leeds General Infirmary.

“They are absolutely fantastic and without their support patients’ could not get through the treatment,” said Denise.

Chris Smith, 26, of Sowerby Bridge, was born with Fanconi Syndrome, a rare disease which attacked his kidneys and by the time he was 18 he needed dialysis.

He did receive a kidney transplant but it failed after a year and he has now been on a waiting list again for several years.

His mother Theresa Smith is currently having tests to see if she is a suitable match for him or a “live pair donor transplant.”

“I can’t faul the Halifax unit, it is really good,” said Chris, who has a son, Harry, five months, with partner Clare Beckham.