A boyfriend and girlfriend are looking forward to their future together after receiving the same type of double transplant within weeks of each other.
Michelle Commons and Steven Jarvis, from Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, underwent combined kidney and pancreas transplants at Guy’s Hospital in May after suffering from chronic kidney failure caused by Type 1 diabetes.
Steven and Michelle were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as children, causing a number of health complications from an early age.
High blood sugar levels increase the risk of developing serious eye conditions and Steven’s sight has progressively deteriorated since 2010 and he is now registered blind, while Michelle is partially sighted.
Michelle has had two heart attacks and a heart bypass operation, due to her diabetes.
The pair met around a year ago while they were having dialysis, a procedure which replicates the function of the kidneys. Patients usually need dialysis three times a week, for four to five hours at a time.
By that time Michelle and Steven were both waiting for a transplant because their kidney function was so poor.
A combined kidney and pancreas transplant will ‘cure’ their diabetes because a healthy pancreas produces insulin.
They will write to the relatives of their donors to thank them for transforming their lives.
Michelle said: “I want my donor’s family to know that although they have had an awful loss, their loved one lives on with me and has given me new life.
“After all their sadness, their relative has given me something magical. I’ll never forget that person – they have a place in my heart forever.”