A mother’s gift of life

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A selfless Aboyne mum is to give her teenage son the ultimate gift - by donating her kidney to him.

Tula Smout’s 14-year-old son Michael suffers from chronic renal failure. He underwent his first operation at three weeks old and at the age of two, had part of his left kidney removed after doctors discovered it had never functioned and his right kidney was functioning at only 35-40% of its capacity.

“We were told he would probably need dialysis and a transplant at some stage,” said 38-year-old Tula, of Gordon Crescent.

“When he was two or three he had a gastronomy tube inserted into his stomach, as he was eating but had bad reflux and wasn’t gaining weight or height. That was removed when he started Aboyne Primary School.

“Almost three years ago he had a procedure, which involved his appendix being removed and connected to the bladder to allow for overnight drainage of urine and daytime catheterisation, which helps reduce pressure on his kidney, as he also produces a lot of urine and his bladder has lost the elasticity to hold the urine.

“He currently has an overnight drainage bag and catheterises three to four times a day, to help his kidneys function better for longer - both of which he will have to do for the rest of his life.

“He does get fed up with it, as he also has to drink 1.5 - 2 litres of fluids each day. This will rise to more than three litres a day after the transplant.”

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