Kidney donor pair doing well a year on

Conner O'Connor and Kirstine Bradbury
Conner O'Connor and Kirstine Bradbury

What a difference a year has made to Conner O’Connor who needed a kidney transplant and was given his life back by a stranger who donated hers.

Twelve months on, and Conner and Kirstine Bradbury, the woman whose kindness he’ll never forget, are both doing well.

After the transplant operation on October 12, 2011, it’s been a year they will never forget.

Kirstine, 29, of Coleridge Way, Corby, got married in July and Conner, of Welland Vale Road, in the town, celebrated his 21st birthday in August.

Kirstine, who helps run her husband Gavin’s business, Bradbury’s Butchers in Corby town centre, said: “Everything went as we hoped it would and Conner has his life back, which was the point of me being a donor.

“Both our families got together on Friday, exactly a year after the transplant operation, and we had a celebration meal. We wanted to mark the occasion and it was a great night.”

Conner said: “Before the operation last year I had had to give up my job. I couldn’t go out and just had to lie in bed. Now I’m back at work and I’m saving up to go to Las Vegas next year.

“I went on holiday with four mates in the summer to celebrate my 21st birthday and none of this would have been possible without Kirstine.

“She came out of nowhere and gave me my life back.”

After the transplant operation Kirstine had blood checks and doctors were pleased with her recovery. Conner was monitored to make sure his body didn’t reject the donated kidney and once adjustments were made to his medication, he continued to make good progress.

He said: “I still have regular checks and everything is going well. Without the transplant I would have to have had dialysis.”

Kirstine’s husband’s sister and Conner’s sister were friends and she heard about his plight through a chance conversation. She decided she wanted to help the then 20-year-old she had never met and the pair had tests, allowing doctors to decide if the transplant operation could go ahead.

Kirstine said: “We keep in regular contact now, through texts and Facebook. I want to know how Conner’s doing and it’s great to see him doing everything a 21-year-old should be.”