A man who donated his kidney to his best pal was last night given the overall Spirit of Corby award.
Arsenal FC fan Dany Reid, 26, met Tottenham Hotspurs fan Tim Reid (the pair aren’t related) at Kingswood School in Corby when they were both 12.
Despite supporting rival teams, they’ve been firm friends ever since.
But three years ago, Tim had a routine test. The following evening he received an urgent phonecall to inform him there was a problem with his kidney function.
More testing showed scarring of unknown-origin on one of his kidneys, leaving him with kidney function of only 46 per cent.
This deteriorated further and his friends started to suspect something was wrong.
Dany said: “You just know when one of your friends is not well so I asked him what it was and he told me about his kidney.
“I asked him immediately what I needed to do to help.”
If Tim had not had a transplant, he would have had go on to dialysis three times every week. The average wait on the regular kidney transplant list is about two-and-a-half years.
But after testing showed Dany was a match, the HGV mechanic did not hesitate to start the process of donating a kidney to his mate.
By July this year, when the operation took place at Leicester General Infirmary, Tim’s kidney function was down to 10 per cent.
After Dany’s healthy kidney was removed on the operating table, it was donated straight to Tim, who now has kidney function of 75 per cent.
Dany said: “I was out of hospital quite quickly and felt good but then I got an infection so had to go back in for 10 days.
“I’ve not been back to work yet as I have to take three months off but the NHS pay for lost wages which is a real help.”
Tim, who has two daughters, Keeley, eight, and Mila, eight months, is also feeling much better and is now back at work at Maxim Logistics.
He said: “It’s early days. I’m on a lot of medication and will be for the rest of my life. I have no immune system so I have to be careful but things are improving.
“Of course I’m incredibly grateful and I hope this inspires others to sign up to become organ donors.”
Dany said: “I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
“We’re now trying to get more people to sign up for the register. It’s really easy and it’s totally worth it.”
The pals are hoping to undertake some sponsored events to raise cash for kidney research.
You can find out more about the charity here
Register here to become an organ donor if you should die.
All the other Spirit of Corby awards winners from last night’s ceremony are here