A father donated his kidney to his 3-year-old daughter.
When Lee Chester, 37, learned that he was a match for a kidney transplant for his 3-year-old daughter, Esme, he didn’t hesitate to undergo surgery, Manchester Evening News reported.
Doctors still don’t know what caused Esme’s kidneys to suddenly fail in June 2015. According to DoSomething.org's Facebook page, she was forced to spend 14 months on dialysis for 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Things changed overnight,” Chester said. “Her kidney failure was end stage -- the worst it could get.
Chester and 27-year-old Rachel Mulhearn, Esme’s mother, were tested to see if they were eligible candidates for a transplant.
“We were both tested and although Rachel was a match, I was a better match,” Chester explained. “I said yes immediately.”
But just as the family was getting ready for a trip to Florida in December, Esme suffered a stroke. She was in intensive care for six weeks, and the transplant was delayed.
Esme had to learn how to walk and eat again. She eventually got better and the family was able to go through with the surgery in August.
“We are both doing really well,” Chester said from his hospital bed. “I’m so glad it’s gone well for Esme. She’s eating mashed potato in bed.
“I’m quite sore so I’ll have to milk it at home for a bit. It really does show the importance of opting in for organ donation. It really does save lives.”
”This is something that any parent would do, you just say yes, it’s in the terms,” Chester added. “A couple of weeks before, the size of the whole thing did start to take hold and then it happens, you come round, and you’re punch drunk, telling the hospital staff jokes because you’re on so much morphine.”
Chester and Mulhearn now hope they will be able to put Esme’s health problems in the past. They praised their daughter for being able to stay positive through it all.
“She’s spent so long on the renal ward she struts around like she owns it, bossing all the staff around,” Chester said.
“She’s so strong-willed, that’s part of what’s she been through,” Chester added. “She knows her own mind, she’s very funny, caring and she says she loves us all the time. But she also has a strength from all this.”
Mulhearn took to Facebook to give an update on the status of her family. She wrote:
My beautiful family recovering after Daddy donated his kidney to our very brave little girl Esme who has faced far too much for any person let alone a child.
Here’s to the future thanks to the best daddy in the world. He has given our daughter more than a gift, a chance at a better, healthier life and we will teach her to realise anything really is possible. They are doing really well, and everything looks to be working wonderfully. Donation changes lives -- sign up today!
Esme is getting ready to attend preschool in September.