Plea for donors as East Ham transplant student highlights vital World Kidney Day

Murad Shaikh outside of Newham College Stratford Campus. Picture: KEN MEARS

Murad Shaikh outside of Newham College Stratford Campus. Picture: KEN MEARS - Credit: Archant

A college student given a lease of life by a kidney transplant has appealed for more donors to save lives.

Murad Shaikh of High End Road, East Ham was nine-years-old when his kidneys started to deteriorate because of multiple cysts.

After he was added to a transplant list in March 2008, he was told it could take a year or more for a matching donor to be found but two days later on his eleventh birthday he had the all important operation – and it was a success.

Murad, speaking ahead of world kidney day tomorrow (March 14), said: “My transplant has meant a lot to me. The diference it has made is I can now do things I always wanted to do – hang out with my friends, get an education and be the person I want to be.”

Thanks to the generosity of a complete stranger, 20-year-old Murad now goes to Newham College, where he studies IT, besides having the energy to pursue a passion for singing and dancing.

However, Murad, who also has a blood disorder and arthritis, has to visit hospital every week and is now in need of another transplant because the kidney, donated by a 45-year-old, is now 56.

Murad’s mum, Gowhar Shaikh, said: “Murad needs another kidney but we need donors for everybody. We just need more people to think about blood and organ donation.

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“There are so many children in hospital who need donations.”

The 52-year-old carer added that Murad is a happy young man who is full of life thanks largely to receiving the all important kidney.

“We want to thank everybody who helped us. Their support has given us the courage to carry on,” Gowhar said.

At any one time around 7,000 people in the UK are waiting for an organ transplant but due to a shortage up to 1,000 of these will die waiting.

There is also a shortage of donors among the black and minority ethnic community, according to Kidney Research UK.

Almost 200 people on the transplant waiting list are under the age of 18, it said.

“A lot of adults and children are waiting for donors. If you donate, you save somebody’s life. It’s an incredible feeling giving back,” Murad said.

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