The mum of a five-year-old Buxton boy whose life was saved by his dad’s donated kidney is raising money for a charity which funded the unit where he was cared for.
Lisa Blair, 36, is braving two days of outdoor challenges along with six other friends and family members during the Hell Valley Experience - including caving, abseiling, trekking and cliff jumping.
She is raising money for Kidneys For Life - a charity which directly funds Manchester Children’s Hospital’s dialysis unit where her son Rory was treated and the hospital ward where he is still a regular visitor.
He was born with chronic kidney disease and had two stomas fitted to drain urine from his kidneys.
However just before his fourth birthday, tests showed Rory’s kidney function was dropping so he started dialysis three times a week.
When the family was told Rory would need a kidney transplant, tests showed his father Stuart, 40, was a strong donor match and the pair successfully underwent the procedure in October last year.
Now six months on Lisa says Rory is doing ‘really well’ - after a further operation to remove his remaining kidney four weeks ago.
She said: “He has lots of energy since his operation - he’s eating well and has grown six centimetres.
“He has a younger brother who for a long time was taller than him but he’s nearly caught him up now.
“Hopefully he’ll start to feel more like the middle child than the youngest soon.
“In himself he’s just so confident - he has everybody wrapped around his little finger.”
Dad Stuart - now fully recovered after struggling with tiredness for a long time - said going through dialysis with Rory had driven home the importance of organ donation.
He said: “He started dialysis in February last year and you are having to get there two or three times a week.
“You’re driving along the A6 at 6am in the snow to get to Manchester and you cannot miss one appointment - that put a lot of pressure on us as a family.”
However Stuart said dialysis was the easiest part compared with having to hold Rory down and force an anaesthesia mask onto the scared four-year-old prior to operations he underwent.
He said: “He was so scared of the operations and often kicked-off - which meant I had to hold the gas mask on then walk away.
“That was the hardest part because Rory was so distressed.”
Speaking of his feelings about the transplant, Stuart said he had felt ‘nothing but good about it ever since’.
He said: “I never worried about it - it’s weird because it’s all very positive.
“Rory has come out the other side fantastically - he has really improved and is doing better than he has for years.
“He wears himself out now and then but at the same time he is out on the trampoline every night - it’s fantastic.
“The difference is great because the stomas and dialysis lines are gone and the kidney is working fantastically well.”
Looking ahead to her upcoming challenge, Lisa said: “I really wanted to do this last year but it was around the time of Rory’s operations.
“Kidneys For Life are a Manchester-based charity and they directly fund the dialysis unit where Rory was treated.
“I’m quite looking forward to it but as it gets closer I’ll be a bit more nervous.
“I’ve not done anything like this since I was a child and the caving will be a struggle.”
To sponsor Lisa, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/RorysWarriors.