Best man fulfils pledge to donate kidney to bride
A WOMAN diagnosed with kidney failure has undergone a life-changing transplant thanks to the best man at her wedding.
Leanne Stefanovic, 31, needed dialysis for nine hours every day and was constantly tired.
But now, she is recovering from the transplant in Leeds after Stuart Kilgannon was found to be a match and donated one of his kidneys.
Stuart was best man when Leanne married his best friend, Shaun Stefanovic, in Cyprus last year.
CAR KEYS AND REMOTES "FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY" 01482 423414 ...View details
FOR ALL YOUR CAR KEY NEEDS CALL US NOW ON
SNAPPED KEYS, LOST KEYS, KEYS LOCKED IN VEHICLES,
WE ALSO REPAIR 90% OF ALL REMOTES AND KEYS, NO FIX NO CHARGE.
Terms: FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY ONE PER CUSTOMER
Contact: 01482 423414
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Leanne said: "I feel normal again. I didn't think I would feel this good so quickly.
"I have got a lot to thank Stuart for."
Leanne, of east Hull, has had kidney disease for most of her life and was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2007.
Without a kidney transplant, she said she would continue to struggle physically and without dialysis, she would die.
Leanne's husband Shaun, 37, and other family members were tested and were not a match for her.
Stuart, of Beverley, was and the transplant took place at St James's Hospital in Leeds on Tuesday.
Stuart, 39, has picked up a chest infection this week and is in pain, but was expected to be allowed home from hospital this weekend.
He said: "It's hard to describe, but it's a fantastic feeling.
"I've seen Leanne and she looks ten years younger. Her kidney function is better than mine. To see how she looks is unbelievable."
Leanne will be in hospital for up to two weeks.
Although she will have to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of her life, it is hoped she will never need dialysis again.
Leanne is now hoping to further her studies in law after graduating from the University Of Hull in July last year and also start a family.
Shaun said he does not know where to begin to repay his best friend for helping his wife.
He said: "I feel overwhelming emotion. I saw Stuart afterwards and cried with him.
"He was groggy and high as a kite on morphine, but he just said 'start living life'.
"I can't express in words what he has done for us. How can you repay someone for doing that for your wife? He is my hero."
Stuart's wife, Debbie Kilgannon, 43, said she is incredibly proud of her husband.
She said: "Stuart is in a lot of pain, but his spirits are good and we are all really pleased.
"It's so far, so good. It's a really healthy and large kidney.
"It was a great relief to see Leanne looking an awful lot better than she was.
"It's an outstanding gift of life that he's given. I'm really proud of him."
Julie Hill, renal living donor co-ordinator at Hull And East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said she is delighted Leanne and Stuart are recovering well and he was found to be a match. She said: "It is a fantastic opportunity that a friend has come forward.
"With live donation in general, we tend to look at anybody now, not just relatives. We can look at partners, husbands, wives, friends and colleagues.
"I'm absolutely over the moon for Leanne.
"She is a wonderful girl, really motivated and she did really well on dialysis.
"This is good for her future."
Leanne will continue to be monitored by nursing and medical staff at Hull Royal Infirmary when she is discharged from hospital in Leeds.
People can survive on dialysis for many years, with transplant as another treatment option. However, Julie said: "It's better for people's health, wherever possible, for them to have a transplant."