Schoolgirl who received life-saving transplant from her teacher speaks about her plans for the future

06:00 11 June 2014

Teacher Ray Coe, of The Royal Docks Community School, and pupil Alya Ahmed Ali.

Teacher Ray Coe, of The Royal Docks Community School, and pupil Alya Ahmed Ali.


The schoolgirl who received a life-saving kidney transplant from her teacher has spoken for the first time exclusively to the Recorder about her hopes and plans for her future.

Teacher Ray Coe, of The Royal Docks Community School, and pupil Alya Ahmed Ali.
Teacher Ray Coe, of The Royal Docks Community School, and pupil Alya Ahmed Ali.

It is a future 13-year-old Alya Ahmed Ali, had dared not dream about until the remarkable selfless gesture which has spared her pain and suffering and saved her life.

Alya, who recently returned to Royal Docks Community School in Custom House, says she now hopes to become a kidney transplant nurse to care for others.

She is enjoying her return to full health thanks to a successful transplant from father-of-one Ray Coe, a 53-year-old special educational needs co-ordinator at the school.

Alya, who has a condition called hydrocephalus (water on the brain) and has suffered renal failure, said: “He [Ray] is a very good man and he was very kind to me when I was sick.

Alya Ahmed Ali, of The Royal Docks Community School.Alya Ahmed Ali, of The Royal Docks Community School.

“I am happy to be at school now that I have my new kidney.”

The teenager no longer has to endure painful dialysis three times a week and a strict diet which included being restricted to just 700ml of water a day and very low amounts of potassium.

“I don’t have headaches, dizziness and vomiting now because my blood pressure is good because of my new kidney,” she said.

Alya, who lives in Old Barrowfield, Stratford, has had to take anti-rejection drugs twice a day since the transplant at Great Ormond Street in February and has checkups each week to assess her progress.

Humble teacher Ray says he has been shocked by the reaction to his kindness and says he is just pleased to see Alya doing so well.

“It’s hard to express as it’s just so nice, the fact that she’s back in school and back to her normal self,” he said. “It was quite distressing to see her in the pain that she was going through and not to see her like that anymore and being able to see that the future has opened up for her is really good.

“She seems so happy and you can really see her vitality.”

He now hopes that Alya will achieve her dream of becoming a kidney transplant nurse.

“She has such a caring nature and likes to help other children, including those with profound and multiple learning difficulties,” Ray said.

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