Meet the amazing Northampton sister who is giving her sibling a kidney
Selfless Hayley Cole is going above and beyond the duty of any sibling and is giving her sister, Natasha, one of her kidneys to help save her life.
Hayley Cole and her sister Natasha Rogers are both undergoing surgery in less than two weeks at Leicester General Hospital - 18 years since Natasha had a heart and lung transplant.
Hayley said: "I love my sister, she’s never had a life like most other people her age. She has been in and out of hospital having various operations and procedures but she never moans."
In 2001, Natasha's life was hanging in the balance after she had been on the waiting list for an organ donation for seven years at Harefield Hospital for a suitable heart and lungs.
After a 10-hour operation in June, Natasha was finally on the road to recovery and was back at home after a 13-week stint on the wards.
The twist in her story is that Natasha now needs a kidney transplant and her younger sister Hayley is to be a living donor to her.
"She is so grateful for every single day that the donor of her heart and lungs gave her 18 years ago,” Hayley added.
"Why would I not donate my kidney so that she can continue this life?
"The one thing I’m most looking forward to is seeing her be able to go carolling this Christmas with the Salvation Army, which she was unable to do last Christmas because she was too unwell. She’s an inspiration."
Since the heart and lung transplant Natasha has been taking anti-rejection drugs every day, which have adverse side effects.
With some people, this could lead to kidney damage but the rate in which organs deteriorate is different with each person. It was four years ago when Natasha noticed things were rapidly declining again.
In a desperate attempt to keep Natasha off dialysis a discussion was made to try organ transplant options.
After passing one round of tests, Graham, Natasha's dad, was eliminated as a donor.
"I was absolutely devastated," he said. "As her dad I just wanted her to be able have as normal a life as possible. But it was not meant to be."This is when Natasha's younger sister, Hayley, put herself forward as a potential donor and successfully passed all of the intensive tests at Leicester General Hospital.Next week, both Hayley and Natasha have to be interviewed by the Human Tissue Authority, and providing it goes to plan, the transplant is planned to go ahead at Leicester General Hospital on July 25.
Natasha said: "When I first heard that Hayley wanted to donate her kidney to me, I was very surprised.
"She had had some tests a year or so ago and she thought that her kidney function would not be up to standard. When she found out it was excellent to donate she was even more shocked and speechless. She had an important and responsible job and two boys to look after.
"I just want to say that from the bottom of my heart: 'thank you Hayley'. I am really proud of you for having the courage to do this for me. It must have been a very hard decision for you."
Hayley, who is a mum to two boys, works at Northampton General Hospital as part of the practice development team that teaches end-of-life care to the staff.
Graham added: "We cannot express how much indebted to Hayley we are for this precious gift she is giving to her sister.
"It’s been a long struggle but we can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.
"Obviously, we are aware, that things could go wrong at the eleventh hour but we are praying that after getting this close, everything will now go ahead as planned and that Natasha will soon be on the right road once again."