Brave Abi gets gift of life with transplant

Abi Longfellow
Abi Longfellow

Courageous teenager Abi Longfellow has been given the gift of life after undergoing a successful kidney transplant operation.

The 15-year-old’s agonising wait for an organ donor finally came to an end on Friday and she is recovering well after life-saving surgery at Leeds General Infirmary.

Abi, from Robin Hood, near Rothwell, sent out a moving plea for help in May this year as she searched for a stranger to make the organ donation sacrifice to save her young life.

Abi got the call that a donor match had been found when she was watching the British Transplant Games in Birmingham last week. Her family raced to Leeds General Infirmary where surgeons were waiting to perform life-saving surgery.

She told the Sunday People: “I’ll never forget how precious this gift is. I couldn’t believe it when we got the call after all this time. I was apprehensive but also relieved as I had waited so long.

“I’m now watching Disney films and even managed to eat macaroni cheese and chocolate.

Abi was diagnosed with an ultra-rare condition called Dense Deposit Disease (DDD) which stops her kidneys filtering waste from her blood.

She was placed on the waiting list for a kidney transplant after winning a fight for the NHS to fund her future treatment with a drug called eculizumab.

Abi’s mum Jo would normally be a suitable donor for 
her daughter but in a cruel 
twist of fate could not help as she also suffers from a blood disorder.

The teenager said a big thank to all who had offered to help her.

She said: “There are over ­500 incredible people who stepped forward willing to donate their kidney even though they have never met me. Thank you. Every single person gave me hope.

“I’m now looking forward to having a normal life.”

Abi added: “To have received the call at the Transplant Games was really special.”