Kidney and bladder health

Updated 14 October 2013

5-week-old baby becomes organ donor

A 5-week old baby has become the youngest organ donor in Britain after its kidneys were given to 22-year-old woman.

 A 22-year-old woman’s life changed when she became the recipient of a pair of 4cm kidneys from a 5-week-old baby that had died of heart failure after an infection.

According to an article in the Daily Mail, Samira Kauser says she is overcome with gratitude to the parents of the baby who agreed to have the baby’s kidney’s donated. She had been suffering from kidney disease for years and had 90% renal failure due to a genetic condition which meant she had to have dialysis for nine hours every day.

The operation took seven hours and was carried out at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds by surgeon Niaz Ahmad.

Although the operation has caused some controversy over using such a young pair of kidneys, Ahmad said that there is such a shortage of organ donors that the situation is dire.

It is now six months after the operation and the kidneys, which were a mere 4cm when they were transplanted, have now grown to 7cm and doctors expect them to reach 75% of adult size.

More about organ donation

Organ donation is a big decision for many people, here are some of the most common questions surrounding how it works:

How do I become a potential organ donor?  Just two easy steps:

  • Phone the Organ Donor Info Line on 0800 22 66 11 and you'll be helped.
  • Talk to your family. Inform them of your intent to become an organ donor.

What can be transplanted?
Kidneys, heart, liver, lungs, corneas, bone, bone marrow and skin. As techniques improve, it may in future be possible to transplant other parts of the body.

Can you donate an organ while still alive?
Yes, in some cases. Live donations – such as a kidney – are nearly always between close relatives, such as a parent to a child, or brother to brother, because the blood groups and tissue types must be compatible to give a high success rate.

Who can be an organ donor?
Anyone under the age of 70 who is in good health, in other words anybody with no sign of cancer, diabetes, hepatitis B or infectious diseases such as HIV/Aids. Anyone younger than 18 years will require parental permission.

Read more about the FAQ's or organ donation in South Africa here.

Experts now hope that this type of organ donation will become more mainstream as there are so many people still on waiting lists for organ transplants.

Read the whole story here.

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