Emma was diagnosed with glomerulonephritis aged just 17 and knew her kidney function would gradually deteriorate as a result. However, the birth of her two children put further strain on her kidneys, and by 2012 she knew a transplant was inevitable.
Friends and family volunteered to be tested, and Emma’s mother Barbara, 65, was a match, meaning that the transplant could go ahead when Emma reached the point of needing dialysis.
Emma said: “I never felt ill and most people didn’t know I was facing a transplant. But as my kidney function declined, I started to get really tired, had to cut my hours at work and found restricting my diet and fluids really difficult.
“The transplant went fantastically well and I was home within five days. My mum had to make lifestyle changes ahead of donating her kidney and she’s now the healthiest she’s ever been. We made sure on the one year anniversary of my transplant that we did something together to mark it. It’s something I’ll be grateful for the rest of my life.”
Emma, who has been married to husband Scott for 10 years, said: “The transplant was the most amazing gift and it’s hard to put into words how grateful I am. Although my mum made it all possible, I couldn’t have got through any of it without my husband Scott.
“I don’t think I realised just how much my illness affected him, because he was always my strength, never letting me feel sorry for myself or letting me dwell on things. With two young kids and both of us working, he just kept everything together. I feel very lucky to have him.”
“Because of my transplant, I have my health back and the energy to enjoy life with my husband and kids."