Fleetwood man thanks sister for priceless gift on the 20th anniversary of her donating a kidney

A brother and sister from Fleetwood have celebrated the 20th anniversary of a life-changing operation, made possible by a precious gift.

Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 1:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 2:14 pm
Mike Deery and sister Ann Marie Pfeiffer are celebrating the 20th anniversary of her donating a life-changing kidney to him

A brother and sister from Fleetwood have celebrated the 20th anniversary of a life-changing operation, made possible by a precious gift.It was back in 1999 that Mike Deery’s younger sister Ann-Marie donated one of her kidneys to him as he struggled with ill health.The operation was performed at Royal Preston Hospital. The selfless act transformed his life and two decades later, he is still enjoying good health.At the weekend 48 year old Ann-Marie, who now lives in Tamworth, Staffordshire, came up to Fleetwood with husband Gerry Pfeiffer and celebrated the milestone with Mike over a few glasses of bubbly.Taxi driver Mike, 52, of Abercrombie Road, said: “It has made a massive difference to my health and my life and I can’t thank her enough.“At the time I was on dialysis and could gave been waiting years for a suitable donor.“I was still able to work but the quality of my life was poor.“I had to had three sessions of dialysis a week and each session lasted four hours - and I had to keep driving to Royal Preston Hotel each time to have it done.“I was on a really harsh regime to keep mu fluid intake to a minimum, because my kidneys weren’t working properly. If I had just two cups of tea over the limit, my system was in trouble, it even affected my heart. What Ann Marie did was so brilliant, it changed my life.”Mike, a father-of-three, first became ill when he was in his early 20s when he developed renal failure.He was able to undergo a kidney transplant but it only lasted six years and then he was back to square one.He added: “A lot of transplant kidneys are put on ice but in my sister’s case it was fresh and after just two hours of the operation my kidney function was back to normal.“We take it for granted that we can pass urine a few times a day but when you have kidney problems you can’t do it.“I never take it for granted these days.“I think organ donors are brilliant, I can’t admire them enough.”Before the operation took place Ann Marie, who now works as a cashier at the Morrisons store in Tamworth, had to be screened to see if she would be a good match and the process took several months.She hopes others who hear about their story may consider it themselves, if the situation were to arrive.Ann Marie said: “I hope this can open the eyes of other people and enable more relatives to know they might be able to help their loved ones out.”In the UK the technique of transplanting human organs enables several thousand people to lead a better life instead of suffering a terminal illness.Transplants are now so successful that many more people can be considered for treatment.But as more are added to the waiting lists, the demand far outstrips the number of donors coming forward.The Department of Health, which runs the NHS Organ Donor Register, believes many people die each year who could have lived if they had received a transplant.For more information , visit: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/