A MAN who needs a life-saving kidney transplant is urging people to sign up to the Journal Campaign and get a donor card.
Stuart Bowers, of Hillside Drive, Grantham, was seriously injured when he was hit by a flagpole in Springfield Road, Grantham, in February 2000. The accident left Stuart disabled and damaged his kidneys. He now needs a transplant to save his life.
Stuart, now 58, took the full force of the 20 foot pole on his stomach and was lucky to survive but after four months in hospital he was allowed to go home to his wife, Rowena.
She said: “Everyday I was waiting not knowing if he was going to live or die. He nearly died that many times, and now he’s facing death again. Never in a million years do you think anything like that could happen, it’s completely ruined our lives.”
Stuart was put on dialysis after the original accident. In 2005 his kidneys failed again, and he was taken to Leicester General Hospital for treatment.
Rowena, 62, cried as she said: “I nearly lost him again. I tried to give him a kidney but I’m the wrong blood type so I can’t. It made me feel awful that I couldn’t give him mine. It was a shock.”
Since 2005 Stuart has had regular appointments to check on his kidney function. At the last appointment Rowena was warned to expect Stuart to be put back on dialysis soon, which will mean going to hospital three times a week.
She said: “We’ve been told that it’s better for a person to have a new kidney before they go on dialysis.
“I nearly lost him 12 years ago. Afterwards I knew he would never be 100 per cent again but now I’m facing losing him again. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is for people to carry a donor card. You don’t realise until you’re in our position how really vital it is. When he was in intensive care I saw quite a few people die. In the final stages of renal failure he didn’t know who he was or where he was. The doctors have told me if that happens again I’ve got to phone 999. If he doesn’t get a donor that’s where it’s going.”
Before the accident Stuart was an engineer at Barfords. Rowena said he was fit and never had a day off.
She said: “When I read about the Journal Save a Life Campaign I said to my husband that we should get in touch because we really back it. It only takes a few seconds to fill out a donor form. You don’t need the organs when you’re dead, if you can help someone why not do it?
“I’ve seen what he’s gone through, all of the pain, and he never complains. It just seems so unfair. People think you automatically get on the kidney register but you don’t until you’re at death’s door.”
Nineteen people in Grantham and Stamford are on the donor register waiting for a kidney.
Visit www2.granthamtoday.co.uk/donor_appeal_form.pdf or our reception to sign up to our Save a Life Campaign, which hopes to encourage people to carry a donor card and increase the amount of LIVES first responders in Grantham.