When people become organ donors, they remain anonymous.
So when Nicole Newman signed up to the organ register and was told somebody needed her kidney and she was a match, she didn’t know who would benefit from her decision.
But recipient Hua Yu, who had suffered from polycystic kidney disease for most of her life, was so grateful that somebody had changed her life by enabling her to have a kidney transplant that she wanted to get in touch.
To show her appreciation to her donor, Hua wrote a letter and asked Jenny Frank, a live donor co-ordinator at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, to pass it on.
The result? Two weeks later, Nicole replied introducing herself and asking Hua to contact her.
It must have been an emotional moment. Now the two women are close friends, meeting each other’s families and talking all the time. Nicole also attended Hua’s graduation ceremony at the University of Portsmouth earlier this year.
They share a special bond and it’s great that they have had the opportunity to get to know each other. For Nicole, seeing Hua so well and knowing that is down to her decision to become a donor must feel fantastic.
As for Hua, she has had the chance to thank in person somebody who was quite prepared to give an organ to a stranger.
The pair are sharing their stories with News readers to encourage people to sign up to the organ register.
We certainly hope they inspire others to consider donation and the life-changing effect it can have. So please go to the NHS organ donation website organdonation.nhs.uk. or call 0300 123 2323 to find out how you could make a massive difference to somebody’s life.