Matthew's nine year wait for a life-saving kidney transplant


A 10-year-old boy has been on the UK transplant waiting list for nine years waiting for a life-saving transplant.

Matthew Pietrzyk, who has neither of his kidneys, is constantly on dialysis and takes 18 tablets a day just to stay alive.

Matthew, from Glenfield in Leicestershire, received a kidney from his mother Nicola when he was one but it was removed after just two days following complications.

When he was a baby he was diagnosed with a congenital syndrome which stopped his kidneys from working properly.

Mrs Pietrzyk said: "His life at the moment is so much about medicines and machines, diet restrictions and fluid restrictions.

"Matthew copes so well and we're incredibly proud of him. We try to keep life as normal as possible but there are times when it can be very difficult because he's just not free to do the things his friends and brothers can.

"Matthew is absolutely mad about football but unfortunately he can't enjoy playing as he'd love to be able to do.

"A transplant would change Matthew's life and it would change life for our family. But it's not just about us, there are thousands of people who need a transplant and are going through what we are.

"Organ donation is an amazing gift. We need more people to understand organ donation and join the NHS Organ Donor Register."

Matthew's story is just one of 65 children who are in dire need of a new kidney and waiting for a new organ.

On average someone under the age of 18 waits for 316 days for a deceased donor kidney transplant, said NHS Blood and Transplant.

The figures, released to mark World Kidney Day, show that some children never get the organ they need to save their lives - in the past decade 16 children have died while they are on the UK Transplant waiting list for a kidney.

In the last decade more than 900 children have been on the waiting list in need of the vital organ.

Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant's director of organ donation and transplantation, said: "It is difficult for all patients waiting for a transplant, but it can be particularly hard for children and their families. Sadly Matthew is not alone and there are currently 65 children on the UK Transplant waiting list for a kidney.

"Patients waiting for kidney transplants make up the majority of people waiting for an organ. So on World Kidney Day we want to draw attention to the need for more people to donate their organs to help save and transform their lives.

"With dozens of children, as well as thousands of adults, in desperate need of a kidney transplant, and many others desperately waiting for other organs too, we need people to tell their loved ones they want to be an organ donor and record their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register."