A Father's Day gift

Shropshire retained firefighter Trevor Williams with his family: son Zach (5), Ben (7) and wife Jacqui |Zach with his class mates
6th June, 2007

Shropshire retained firefighter Trevor Williams has been given the best Father's Day present imaginable - the gift of knowing that he has helped his very ill son on the road to recovery by donating him a kidney.

The successful father to son kidney transplant means that 5-year-old Zach, who was born with chronic renal failure, will now be able to lead a normal and healthy life for the first time.

With the numbers of organ donors falling, a widespread search for a suitable kidney had failed before both Zach's parents unusually proved a match for their sick son.

"When we found we were a match, we both wanted to donate," said mum Jacqui (32), of Clun, Shropshire, who has written a 40 page diary detailing the numerous operations and lengthy hospital treatments undergone by their youngest son since the "bombshell" diagnosis just days after he was born.

Trevor, a 41-year-old Sub Officer, had his right kidney removed at one Birmingham hospital before it was rushed across the City to Zach waiting in the operating theatre at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

The lifesaving transplant means that Zach, who is small for his age, can now enjoy food after spending his first few years being fed via a tube in his stomach.

"Zach has a voracious appetite now and he has just been able to go back to school. He has so much more energy. It's wonderful to see," said Trevor, whose friends, neighbours and family rallied round to help run their family egg production business as he recuperated. He is now back at work and soon due to return to firefighting duties at the rural south Shropshire fire station.

Zach's parents today both appealed for everyone to carry a donor card to halt the dwindling supply of organs for people in need.

"Our son is one of the lucky ones because Trevor was able to donate his kidney but there are so many ill children and adults who are still waiting and some who will die waiting. Their quality of life is not good and they have to undergo dialysis just to keep them alive. Please carry a donor card and tell your family that you would like to donate your organs after your death. It will help so many people."

For Zach, whose future was very bleak before the transplant, life is now rosy being back at school with his friends, playing with big brother Ben (7) and eating his favourite food of curry and crisps.

To register as an organ donor call 0845 6060 400 or register online at www.uktransplant.org.uk