"In October 1984 I was diagnosed with type one diabetes. At that time, it was very rare for a 15-year-old to have this serious autoimmune disease; in fact, I was 1 in 100,000 people.

I led a relatively normal life having check-ups along the way, in and out of hospital with severe hypoglycaemic attacks.

My kidneys started to deteriorate in 2013. For the next five years I was feeling fine but having to go to the renal specialist every three months. Fast forward to late 2018 when the kidney function has deteriorated to a level where we had to have discussions about transplantation and dialysis.

Early 2019 I had a PD tube fitted and by the end of January I was dialysing at home overnight. I was feeling terrible, very lethargic and tired and found it difficult to concentrate. Over the next few months my health deteriorated. On the 6th of June 2019 I was admitted to hospital. I was transferred to Royal Stoke hospital because the specialist needed to dialyse me because my blood results were showing high levels of potassium.

As soon as I arrived at Royal Stoke hospital, I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was dead for six minutes and the wonderful team managed to revive me. I spent about a week in a coma and suffered a stroke and a brain injury.

I was in intensive care for a while before being admitted to a rehabilitation ward. I couldn’t walk, talk or eat and was suffering from delirium. All this time the hospital was fantastic; trying to dialyse me because remember my kidneys weren’t working. I started the long road to recovery.

The effects of the brain injury meant that my left side was not functioning correctly so I couldn’t use my left hand.

Recovery progressed… I was then discharged from hospital on the 6th of September 2019, exactly 3 months after the event.

Since discharge I have slowly noticed some improvements in my functionality and ability to do basic daily tasks. I think that there is a long road ahead as I need to adjust to a new normal. I’ve had to give up work where I enjoyed a senior position in a healthcare company.  

I couldn’t have done anything without my partner Chris and his family. My dad has supported me along with his wife so I know that I can continue recovering. I was waiting for a kidney pancreas transplant for 2 years, on and off the transplant list due to some health issues and the impact of Covid-19 also delayed transplants.

Once I was finally ‘active’ on the list I was called 2 times however there were problems with the organs on these occasions.

However, third time lucky proved true as on the 27th August 2021 I received another call and on the 28th I was transplanted. After 2 weeks I was discharged home to continue my recovery. Since the transplant I have not needed insulin or dialysis have more energy and feel like I have had a second chance at a normal life. With each follow up appointment kidney function is improving and the transplant team are more pleased with my results and progression.  

I now feel more positive because I see a future for myself at only 52 there is a lot of life in me and I want to contribute to society and give something back.

I want to thank Royal Stoke Hospital and Manchester Royal Infirmary, the NHS and the North Staffordshire and South Cheshire Kidney Patient Association.

I have become a trustee for the North Staffs & South Cheshire Kidney Association and I am involved with the Cheshire brain injury team and I also volunteer for Cheshire & Wirral partnership NHS foundation.”