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Mum in fresh Facebook plea to find kidney donor for son

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A mum has relaunched a Facebook appeal to try to find a kidney donor for her son, after a hospital clarified information on who could donate.

Nicola Pietrzyk, from Glenfield, was furious when her first appeal, more than a month ago, to help seven-year-old Matthew appeared to hit a wall of red tape.

More than 15 strangers came forward offering to donate a kidney to Matthew.

But, as reported last month, doctors told Nicola the Birmingham Children's Hospital, where he is treated, did not test strangers who wanted to be organ donors for named recipients.

However, in a statement to the Mercury this week, the hospital said it "welcomes all offers of potential donors".

Nicola said she was pleased the hospital had issued clearer advice. She said: "They had the opportunity to do this weeks ago and it is a pity they didn't do it then.

"My concern is that potential donors could have slipped through the net but I am going to reissue the appeal."

A hospital spokesman said this week: "If we are approached by a donor and they want to donate their organ to a named recipient, but are not linked to the patient or family, we will assist with sign-posting them to their local adult renal unit, which would be responsible for carrying out any investigations and assessments or they can seek advice from their GP.

"To date, only a very small number of individuals has come forward as potential donors for Matthew and, unfortunately, none have been identified as a suitable donor."

Matthew has to endure 12 hours of dialysis every night as he was born with a genetic disorder which has damaged his kidneys.

He had one kidney removed in October 2007 and, the following year, Nicola donated one of her kidneys but the transplant failed.

He is now on the national kidney transplant waiting list.

The original Facebook appeal saw Nicola upload a picture of Matthew to the social media site earlier this year, appealing for one million people to "like" the image.

It aimed to find a live donor and raise awareness of organ donation.

In less than a week, more than 301,800 people responded to her appeal, and nearly 40,000 people joined the Facebook page.

Nicola has now posted a message telling followers that "strangers" can potentially be donors.

She added: "Matthew is well at the moment, the best he has been for some time and the care he receives at Birmingham is excellent. But he could wake up tomorrow and be poorly."

Nicola is hoping to meet Health Minister Anna Soubry to make it easier for potential donors to come forward.

Her MP Stephen Dorrell and Liz Kendall, MP for Leicester West, where Matthew's grandfather, Bernard Irwin, lives, are due to discuss the case with Ms Soubry on May 20, as well as concerns over confusion over rules surrounding donation.

Nicola said: "I am very grateful to them for taking this up but I would really like to meet the Minister. I feel my son's pain and want to get that across. It is difficult for someone else to do this."

Ms Kendall said: "I wrote to the Health Minister to demand the NHS does everything within its power to get Matthew a new kidney. I shall be meeting with her to press his case."

Mum in fresh Facebook plea to find kidney donor for son


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