Gift-giving can be a tricky business, but Matt Soal knew exactly what to give to wife Kylie for their fourth wedding anniversary- a kidney!
The couple, from Bursledon, celebrated four years as man and wife in QA hospital on April 20, just hours after Matt’s kidney was transplanted into Kylie.
Their world was turned upside down in December last year when Kylie was told she had end-stage kidney failure.
She has been feeling unwell in the weeks up to her diagnosis and had been vomiting and feeling exhausted- but the diagnosis was a bolt from the blue.
Kylie, who works for Hampshire County Council, explains: “I’ve always felt perfectly healthy and I had no idea there was anything wrong with me. It was a massive shock.”
She started dialysis within weeks and further tests revealed that her only chance was a kidney transplant.
Fortunately, her mother, sister, brother and husband were all found to be suitable donors, and devoted Matt, a PCSO, was determined that it should be him to make the sacrifice.
He said: “I would do anything for her. I just said to the doctors ‘take all the bits you need from me’.
“I was hugging all my colleagues at work when I got the phone call to say that I was a match and would be able to donate.”
The operation on April 19 took four hours for Matt and two hours for Kylie. Now the couple, both 25, are recovering well and are looking forward to the future.
A transplanted kidney can last up to 20 years, before another transplant is needed.
Matt said: “It can be difficult knowing what to get for a wedding anniversary, but I think a kidney fits the bill.
“Kylie is doing so well now and I haven’t regretted it for a moment. I was terrified when I was being wheeled into theatre, but it never crossed my mind to back out.
“I would do it all again – but I’ve been told you need at least one kidney!”
This week is UK Kidney Week