INTERNATIONAL ORGAN DONATION AWARENESS CAMPAIGN - UK - THE FLOE SINGER SARAH'S GIFT OF LIFE TO HER BOYFRIEND
A NORTH Essex singer who donated a kidney to her boyfriend is launching a campaign to raise awareness of the need for organ donors.
Singer-songwriter Sarah Springett lives with boyfriend, 31-year-old Paul Shepherd, in Kelvedon.
“I already feel like I have gained so much by donating my kidney to him. Releasing this single to support the Transplant Trust’s work and encouraging people to sign the NHS Organ Donor Register feels like the right thing to do.”
In 2004, Paul was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy, a condition in which the kidneys become damaged by a protein normally used to fight infection. He managed to live a relatively normal life for four years, but in early 2008, his condition deteriorated rapidly and he had to undergo regular dialysis.
Sarah, 28, made the decision to donate one of her kidneys to Paul, and on November 6 his life-saving operation went ahead at the Royal London Hospital. Doctors say the operation has been a complete success and both Sarah and Paul are now able to lead normal lives.
A year on from the operation, Sarah has decided to launch a personal campaign to raise awareness of organ donation and the need for more donors to come forward. Her efforts will be in support of the first UK-wide organ donation campaign, which is being launched by NHS Blood and Transplant in early November.
Her band, the Floe, will follow the launch of the campaign with the release of their debut single, called I Hope You Know, on November 9. Each single will prominently feature a link to an online organ registration form, and profits from the single will be donated to the Transplant Trust.
Sarah said: “Before Paul’s illness, organ donation had no reason to enter my life.
“It had never affected me and I had no reason to think it would. It was always someone else’s problem. It is with such a sense of relief and excitement I am able to throw myself back into my music, knowing that Paul is safe, healthy and back up and running. “I already feel like I have gained so much by donating my kidney to him. “Releasing this single to support the Transplant Trust’s work and encouraging people to sign the NHS Organ Donor Register feels like the right thing to do.”