Kidney transplant son and dad speak to MPs

CAMPAIGN Ed Goncalves and his son Luis. Picture: Paul Jacobs (131383-1)
CAMPAIGN Ed Goncalves and his son Luis. Picture: Paul Jacobs (131383-1)

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A FATHER and son who are campaigning to get people on the organ donor register have spoken to MPs.

Ed Goncalves, 45, of Broadsands Drive, in Gosport and his son Luis, nine, met around a dozen MPs at the event in parliament yesterday.

It was part of the NHS Blood and Transplant conference in Portcullis House, at the Houses of Parliament.

Luis, who received a kidney from his dad, penned a speech for the day.

Read to MPs by Ed, it said: ‘I started my campaign because I felt sorry for the other kids I met in hospital.

‘Some of them are still waiting for a transplant.

‘Some have already had a transplant but it didn’t work.

‘Some don’t have a mum or dad who can give them a kidney and some of these children have to wait as long as five years.

‘I know what it was like to wait for a year – it was no fun at all.’

A busy day in parliament meant not as many MPs who wanted to could turn up.

That included junior foreign minister Alistair Burt, who took the time to email Luis to say he could not come along. Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes swung by for lunch.

As reported in The News, Ed donated one of his kidneys to Luis, helping him win his first battle with end-stage renal failure.

Luis was diagnosed in March last year.

Yesterday Ed told MPs how he was happy he donate but now wants more people on the organ donor register.

He said: ‘We had a good turnout of MPs.

‘We’ve had a lot of very enthusiastic responses from MPs.

‘It was a clear a lot of them had been personally motivated by [our story].

‘There’s a lot of consensus and political will, and we need to see that translated into action, into a co-ordinated national campaign to get people on the list.’

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage chaired the meeting and has supported the pair, mum Siobhan, and Joe, Luis’ twin brother.

She said: ‘I’ve been really impressed with his incredible bravery.

‘For Luis to battle through all that has been thrown at him at such a young age, he is an inspiration to us all.’