A NEW PART FOR TOM
Sky Television came to Ickenham in April to report on the incredible story of Tom Higgs’ successful kidney transplant. Tom, now 13, was diagnosed with Haemolytic uraemic syndrome – a rare disease of the kidneys – when he was only five years old. This was followed by a nightmare five years’ of treatment which consisted of being hooked up to a dialysis machine every night for 11 hours at a time, having to take a “mountain” of tablets and enduring the stress of being fed by tube as his appetite had disappeared.
The family prayed for a transplant but as they couldn’t be considered as donors, their only hope was for a donor to come forward - and they were only too aware of the fact that demand for kidney donors well outstrips supply.
However, miraculously, three years ago, after hoping for a deceased donor to become available and not daring to hope for a live one, a donor actually came forward. And it was, amazingly, not only a live donor but also a perfect match in all ‘pointers’ of assessment!
A live donation is termed ‘altruistic’ and the altruist in this case (the only one ever encountered to date by the Great Ormond Street hospital) is Roger Sutton, a 53-year-old GP from Portsmouth. He is also a churchwarden at St Jude’s church in Southsea and said of his donation, “I have experienced such a great life that I wanted to give something back. I don’t want to sound too pious but it was my way of saying “Thank you” to God for all the great things that have happened in my life. Since the transplant I have made a full recovery and don’t feel any different than before the operation.”
Donors and recipients normally remain anonymous so Roger had no idea who would benefit from the operation. But later both parties agreed to waive their confidentiality and, much to their huge delight, Roger and Tom were able to meet for the first time last year.
Tom’s mother, Vicky, who had been forced to give up her training as a mid-wife when Tom was first diagnosed, said, “The whole experience was unbelievable. Tom had been so ill that we began to think he’d never get better and now he’s as lively and active as most other thirteen-year olds. It just shows how vital organ-donation is.”
If you’d like to know more about donating a kidney, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
URGENT FESTIVAL INFORMATION!
Please note that the Ickenham Festival Team has relocated this year’s Gala Day and Concert plus fireworks (on 14th June) events from the grounds of Swakeleys House to Vyners School, Warren Road, Ickenham. This is because the owners of Swakeleys House have, at very short notice, opposed the team’s plans by preventing any vehicles, attractions, staging, lights or fireworks on to the grounds. These constraints would render the Gala to a pale shadow of its former self. Fortunately, Vyners School has agreed to host the Festival Gala Day events on their school playing fields at Warren Road.
The vast majority of Ickenham Festival week (7th -15th June) is totally unaffected by this late arrangement, the only change being the location of the afternoon Gala Day, Evening Concert and Fireworks. All other events and timings are as in the published programme. An update to the Festival programme and an updated Concert ticket are being printed. All previous tickets will be honoured at Vyners Grounds.
SPONSORED FESTIVAL BIKE RIDE IN AID OF CLICK Rukiga
Join Mike Whitlam at 2.30pm on Sunday June 8th for a sponsored bike ride in aid of CLICK Rukiga as part of the Ickenham Festival activities. Starting and finishing outside Bikewise on Swakeleys Road and taking in a 4 mile route, this is an all-age event. Sponsor forms available from Bikewise or Mike Whitlam or to donate, please see Mike’s Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/Michael-Whitlam6
DROP-IN FOR THE BEREAVED - St Giles’ Church Back Hall, 2pm to 3.30pm.
A friendly and informal opportunity for a chat over a cup of tea with other bereaved people and bereavement visitors.
The next meeting is on Monday 16th June, (then Monday 21st July).