Sue Townsend saved by son's kidney donation
Monday 28 December 2009
The author Sue Townsend has undergone a life-saving kidney transplant thanks to the generosity of her son.
The 63-year-old creator of teenage nerd Adrian Mole received the donated organ from her eldest child Sean, 44, during an eight-hour operation at Leicester General Hospital.
Townsend has had Type 1 diabetes for 30 years, requiring three daily insulin injections. She has been registered blind for five years.
She had been living on dialysis and had waited two years for a suitable donor. After her four children and her second husband, Colin, underwent tests it was decided that Sean would be the best match.
She said this weekend that her kidneys "had been going downhill for five years", adding: "I had got down to about 5 per cent function. Behind my back, the family got together and decided that one would donate one of their own."
Complications arose following the operation in September – only disclosed now – when her body initially rejected the donor kidney and an infection developed, forcing her to return to hospital 17 times.
Townsend spoke out to highlight the shortage of organ donations in Britain: 10,000 people currently need a kidney transplant, three of whom die each day. Of the 1,500 who had kidney transplants last year, a third received the organ from a relative.
The writer, who became a household name in 1982 with The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾, the first in a series of eight books, said that despite her health problems she was happy with life.
"I've got four children, a lovely husband and 10 grandchildren, plus we had 19 for Christmas lunch made by Colin."
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 Scottish independence live: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum - as it happened
- 3 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 4 Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
- 5 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Scottish independence referendum results: David Cameron pledges plans for 'English votes for English laws' by January
Scottish independence live: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum - as it happened
Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...
£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...