Aiza Hassan is looking forward to an extra special festive period after being given the ‘gift of life’ through a kidney donation from her devoted mum, Uzma.
Experts at Birmingham Children’s Hospital performed the life-saving operation a few weeks ago and the 12-year-old has progressed so well that she’s now back home in Burton with her family.
Aiza was diagnosed with congenital nephrotic syndrome – a condition which causes a loss of protein in the body, often resulting in kidney failure – when she was just two years old after both of her kidneys failed.
Following three years of haemodialysis – a treatment which cleans the blood when the kidneys are unable to themselves – a match was found and a first transplant operation carried out by specialists at the leading paediatric hospital.
However, seven years later, Aiza acquired an infection which resulted in her new organ beginning to fail. This meant she would soon be required to go back on dialysis if another kidney wasn’t found – which would also have meant going back to taking over 60 tablets and an injection every day.
Mum Uzma Asghar, a full-time carer, quickly made the decision that she would donate one of her own kidneys after finding out she was a match. Within three weeks, and after lots of preparation, she was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, to have the organ removed, before it was rushed to the specialist team at the Children’s Hospital, where Aiza was waiting to receive it.
Thankfully, the operation –one of 37 life-saving liver or kidney transplant procedures that have taken place this year at the hospital, part of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, was a success and Aiza and Uzma are both recovering well and are now back home in time for Christmas.
Uzma, aged 32, said:
“It wasn’t something I had to think on very hard, as you just want your child to have the very best chance in life. If I can survive with one healthy kidney and Aiza desperately needs the other to live as normal a life as possible, why wouldn’t I choose to donate?
“I’m so thankful to the teams at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, whose fast action means that we can enjoy Christmas at home while we recover.
“All the signs are looking good, but we know things can change, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the kidney lasts for as long as possible to allow Aiza to live a life without the limitations of dialysis and her condition.
“It’s so important that people sign up to the organ donor register, but I think it’s equally important that those who are healthy enough to do so consider live donation, as it really can be life-changing for those with conditions like my daughter’s.”
Dr David Milford, Consultant Nephrologist at Birmingham Children’s Hospital who is the lead for Aiza’s care, said:
“Although Aiza’s transplant operation only took place a short time ago, we’re very pleased with the progress she’s making and delighted that she’s well enough to be heading home to enjoy the festive period with her family. We will continue to closely monitor how things are going through regular check-ups.
“The courage of relatives who willingly give their organs are a real inspiration to our teams.
“We’re also passionate supporters of the Organ Donation campaign and, by taking a few minutes to sign up and have conversations with family members, you could be offering the gift of life to others. We’d certainly ask everyone who hasn’t yet considered it to look into it over the holiday period.”
For more information about organ donation or to sign up to the organ donation register, please visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk.