A BUCHAN businessman received the “best Christmas present ever” late last year when his sister-in-law donated a vital kidney.
Ian Devenish (57) had been undergoing dialysis for three and a half years when his wife’s sister Elizabeth (61) offered to become a living donor.
The pair underwent the successful operation at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary on December 22, giving Ian a “new lease of life” after years of discomfort.
And despite having to spend Christmas in hospital, Ian says Elizabeth’s gift made 2011 “the best Christmas ever”.
But retired teacher Elizabeth Buchan says she’s no hero, she simply saw the stress that the three times weekly five hour dialysis sessions were causing Ian and her sister Lorraine and knew she wanted to help.
“Most people don’t see you at your worst,” says Ian, “it’s something you hide from the general public. But Elizabeth saw what we were going through. I had to leave the room when she offered to help, I was that overwhelmed.”
Ian and Elizabeth were put through a series of rigorous tests, both physically and psychologically, to ensure that they were fit and healthy and that Elizabeth had made her choice for the right reasons.
Everything went smoothly and, surprisingly because they are not blood relatives, Elizabeth was a perfect match.
Elizabeth has made a full recovery and, although Ian will remain on medication for the rest of his life, he feels like a new man.
Ian said: “Linda Willows and her team at the Buchan Renal Unit have been been absolutely magic. They are so welcoming and have done everything to make dialysis patients welcome and comfortable. And the surgeons and staff in Edinburgh were just incredible. I just want people to know how much it has changed my life. If just one person comes forward to donate a kidney to someone who needs it then all this is worthwhile.”