As a young father, Andrew Saunders had everything to live for. But almost a decade ago, a shock diagnosis of advanced kidney disease was to turn his whole life upside down.
He remembers: “Being told that I was so ill was a complete bolt from the blue. I did a lot of running at the time and had always led a healthy lifestyle so it didn’t seem as though it could be real.”
But in May 2010, Andrew got the call late on a Friday night that would change his life forever – a kidney match had been found and he was to go straight to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
“It was really emotional knowing that I was getting this second chance at life. You wait for so long for that call and finally it had come, it was incredible. I had no trepidation in going ahead with the operation, I was so ill and this could change everything. It meant so much.”
Whilst it took a few weeks for Andrew to recover properly, everything went well with his operation and he is now living life to the full.
He said: “I am so thankful for how my life is now and I make sure that I make the most of everything offered to me.
“It’s a very personal choice but I hope that by telling my story, other people might take a minute to think about joining the NHS Organ Donor Register. It is the thing which gave me hope while I was waiting on a transplant and is now what has given me the opportunity to really live again.”