Son’s transplant is the gift of life for father in law

Steve Walton and son-in-law Ryan Crawford, from Newton Hill, Wakefield, at Manchester Royal Infirmary just before the kidney transplant in January, 2016.
Steve Walton and son-in-law Ryan Crawford, from Newton Hill, Wakefield, at Manchester Royal Infirmary just before the kidney transplant in January, 2016.
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A caring son gave his father-in-law the gift of life by undergoing a live kidney transplant.

Ryan Crawford, 44, of Willow Park, Newton Hill, donated a kidney to his father-in-law Steve Walton, 61, whose organ function had dramatically deteriorated.

After being diagnosed with kidney disease a decade ago, Mr Walton was having dialysis, a life support treatment which filters the blood, four times-a-week for the past 18 months.

But dad-of-two Mr Crawford underwent a number of tests at St James’ Hospital in Leeds, which eventually showed the pair were a perfect match and the transplant took place at Manchester Royal Infirmary on January 14.

He said: “I feel relieved that I’ve done it. People call me a hero and I don’ think that’s the case. It’s just the right thing to do, I’m proud but I will be more proud on the day when he is on the other side of things and living a healthy life.

“Some people ask me why I took that risk but there’s no greater gift than the gift of giving someone else life.”

Mr Crawford has been recovering at home and his father-in-law is due to be discharged this month after taking drugs to ensure his immune system accepted the kidney.

Now he is raising awareness of live transplants, which are less common than organs donated by the deceased.

He said: “It dawned on me afterwards that there is awareness of donor card for people who have passed away but there isn’t much information out there about live transplants. I want to raise awareness because someone stands a better chance with a live donor because they are generally younger people, rather than getting an organ from someone who has died of old age.”

For more information visit www.nhs.uk