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Angela gives her daughter 'the gift of life and love' by donating a kidney

March 22, 2019 01:02 PM

When Louise Carter fell seriously ill with double kidney failure her mum Angela didn’t think twice about what to do – she donated one of her own kidneys and gave Louise “the gift of life and love”.

They've worked together at our Llangefni store on Anglesey for the last six years and Angela, who's 65, is retiring next Saturday – the day before Mother's Day.

Louise said: "More than anything I thank my mum for the gift of life and love she gave me. Words cannot describe how grateful I am.

"My son Connor was three when I was ill and because of her I will get to see him graduate from university."

"As soon as she found out she was a match she didn't think twice about it. It was totally overwhelming to find out she was prepared to do this for me.

"We're a very close family, and this made us even closer – she's extra special.

"My family, especially my partner Rob, and my close friends have cared for me so much too. I really appreciate everything Rob has done and still does for me.

"I got ill in summer 2001. I fainted once, was having dizzy spells and had lost a bit of weight, but didn't think it was anything serious. I had a blood test then got a call from my GP to go into hospital. I was diagnosed with kidney failure – both of my kidneys had failed.

"I went to hospital straight away and was put on dialysis. It was such a shock.

"As I became stable I went home, continued my dialysis at home and was put on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. Rob wasn't a match, my sister couldn't donate as she had a very young baby at the time, then my mum went in for tests and it turned out she was a match.

"The transplant went ahead in June 2003 at Royal Liverpool Hospital. We both went in together and she was in for about a week, I was in for a couple of weeks. We both left hospital with just one working kidney each.

"I will always have to take daily medication to ensure my body doesn't reject the transplant and have to try and make sure I don't get a cold or a cough because I have no immune system to fight off infections."

Louise, who works on the checkouts, joined Asda Llangefni in 2006 – and Angela has worked at the store's bakery for the last six years.

Louise said: "We see each other all the time anyway but it has been really nice working with her. We don't see a huge amount of each other at work, but I love meeting up with her whenever we're on breaks."

Angela says it was an emotional time when Louise was ill, and that she was determined to do whatever she could to help.

She said: "They say it's one of the most altruistic and unselfish things you can do but there was never a question in my mind – I just went for it.

"There were a lot of assessments to get through, as it's quite a long process, and then we went into hospital together. I remember I went first because I was the donor.

"The teams at both Royal Liverpool Hospital and Ysbyty Gwynedd were amazing and we had a fantastic, pioneering doctor who we owe our lives to."

Store manager Russell Frankland, pictured here with Louise and Angela, said: "They're both fantastic colleagues and for Angela to put herself through what she did for her daughter is an amazing act of kindness.

"Both Angela and Louise have been integral parts of the team here and Angela will be missed. We all wish her a very happy retirement."

Section leader Terry Watson said: "Louise has always been very open about what her mum did for her and is happy to talk about it. She's proud of her mum for how she helped her out.

"It's a really big thing for anyone to do and I think it's just lovely."