In a turn of events that can only be described as fate, Lucy Humphrey, a 44-year-old from Caerphilly, Wales, stumbled upon a life-saving kidney match, all thanks to an unplanned beach trip. Lucy, battling lupus her entire adult life, was told in 2017 that she desperately needed a new kidney within the next five years or face dire consequences.
Dialysis meant Lucy and her partner, Cenydd Owen, had to forgo their campervan holiday. Instead, they opted for a simple beach barbecue. Little did they know, this decision would be life-changing. Their Doberman, Indie, took a particular liking to a fellow beachgoer, Katie James, and kept intruding on her peaceful crocheting session. After a few interruptions, Cenydd approached Katie to apologize.
Yet, this awkward introduction quickly transformed into a deep conversation. Katie, learning of Lucy’s dire need for a kidney, casually mentioned she had just registered as a kidney donor. They exchanged contact details, though Lucy didn’t anticipate much would come of it.
In an unexpected twist, subsequent blood tests showed that the two beachgoers were an ideal match for the kidney transplant – a likelihood Lucy likened to a 1-in-22 million chance. The procedure was carried out in October 2022. Though Lucy faced a slight hiccup with the new kidney taking its time to “wake up,” necessitating a four-week hospital stay.
Finally, post-recovery, Lucy was able to indulge in the campervan holiday she had been looking forward to, enjoy a glass with her meal, and much more. Overwhelmed with gratitude, she reflected, “I remember telling my partner in 2019 that without a transplant in the next five years, I might not make it. I hope my story reminds others to never lose hope.”
When James first registered as a donor, she was informed that she might never know the outcome of her donation – whether it truly made a difference or even who received it.
Now, not only does she have the assurance that her kidney saved a life, but she also gained a beautiful friendship in the process. The depth of their bond is evident in their group chat named “The Kidney Gang” that they share on WhatsApp.