Friend donates kidney to his best man and £1,000 to St Helier hospital

Left to right: Trust chief executive Matthew Hopkins, Dave Yateman, Spencer Moss, surgeon Sarah Heap and transplant co-ordinator Tracy Norton Smith

Left to right: Trust chief executive Matthew Hopkins, Dave Yateman, Spencer Moss, surgeon Sarah Heap and transplant co-ordinator Tracy Norton Smith

First published in News
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Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Two pals presented a £1,000 cheque to St Helier hospital's renal department after going through a life-changing experience together.

Renal patient Dave Yateman's illness took a turn for the worse last year and it transpired he would need a new kidney. That is when his best friend Spencer Moss stepped in and, after a consultation and tests at St Helier, donated his own kidney.

Wimbledon Guardian:

Mr Moss got a tattoo to mark the life changing donation

The operations were successful and, as a thank you to the hospital, the pair marked World Kidney Day by donating a £1,000 cheque Mr Moss raised through a bike ride to St Helier.

Mr Moss and Mr Yateman have been friends for years. Mr Moss, who lives in Horley and is a baggage handler at Gatwick airport, said: "Me and Dave go way back, he was my best man and we’re just like brothers.

"We just really get on. Last year, when I knew Dave was poorly and in need of a new kidney, I made an appointment with St Helier Hospital’s organ transplant co-ordinator, Tracy Norton-Smith to see if I could help Dave out."

He did not tell Mr Yateman, who lives in Burgess Hill, Sussex, he had contacted the hospital until several weeks later when the pair were together and Mr Moss' phone rang. Mr Yateman, 43, said: "Spencer’s mobile went and I was worried as he said it was the hospital. 

"He then explained he’d gone off to get tested to be a potential kidney donor for me. Well, we both got a bit choked up, I couldn’t believe he’d do that for me.

"I have to say we had a bit of a man hug – it was very emotional."

The transplant took place in November and has been a success. The pair return to the hospital for regular check ups and when they came on World Kidney Day they brought to cheque with them - and Mr Moss was able to show off his new kidney awareness tattoo.

Mr Moss said: "I didn’t realise it was possible to live healthily with one kidney and I hope our story helps others to think about donation. I would recommend donation to anyone. Just seeing Dave healthy again, happy and playing with his three-year-old son is brilliant."

Hospital chief executive Matthew Hopkins added: "What an amazing story of friendship this is and one which really highlights how most of us can donate a living kidney while we are alive to someone we know, or donate altruistically which means donate to a complete stranger.

"A huge thank you to Spencer and Dave for their donation of another kind - £1,000 to our renal clinic which will be used to help other kidney patients. I’d like to take this opportunity on World Kidney Day to thank all our hard working renal staff."

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