A Burnley mum has issued a desperate plea to help save her son’s life after he was left needing a vital kidney transplant for the second time in five years.
Young dad Nathan Barrett (22) underwent an operation in 2009 after his mum Karin Hooper (52) donated one of her kidneys.
The surgery was initially a success and Nathan was able to regain his quality of life, attending university and becoming a dad to 15-month-old Corby.
But last year Nathan, a former St Theodore’s School pupil, became seriously ill. He was taken to hospital where it was found he had an infection which almost killed him.
Doctors later gave Nathan and his family the heartbreaking news that the transplanted kidney had stopped working and was being rejected by his body.
After spending most of 2013 in hospital, with several stints at the Royal Blackburn Hospital and Manchester Royal Infirmary, Nathan is now being cared for by Karin at home in Clevelands Road, Rosehill. But his mum said he has no quality of life and urged people to sign up to the donor register in a bid to try and help him find a kidney.
Clarets star Danny Ings has also been touched by Nathan’s story which he highlighted on Twitter.
“It was touch and go a few times last year with Nathan,” said Karin.
“After he got the infection I think he realised the kidney had been rejected.
“He turned round to me and said ‘you shouldn’t have to bury your children mum.’ “To hear your child say that is horrible. As a mum I will keep fighting and helping Nathan as much as I can.
“Nathan is a brilliant dad but he struggles with energy. He was told that he might not be able to have children but then Corby came along. He is a little miracle and Nathan wants to be able to do things with him.”
Nathan currently has to attend three four-and-a-half-hour dialysis sessions at Burnley General Hospital every week, has a catheter in his chest, which he has to guard against infection, has a restricted diet and can only drink half-a-litre of fluid in 24 hours.
His aunt and his dad have both tried to become donors for Nathan but further tests have ruled them out. He is currently on the transplant list along with around 6,000 others.
Karin said the treatment is taking its toll on him and he is often left exhausted.
“This week is National Transplant Week. People don’t think about organ donation until it’s there. I would urge them to consider becoming a living donor or sign the organ donor register.
“If he got a donor he would be able to live, he would have a life, to be able to go out to work and do things like normal 22 year olds do. He would be able to eat and drink.”
Nathan’s kidney problems were first discovered when he was 15 and he went to the opticians after suffering from crippling headaches. Further investigations revealed he had bleeding behind the eyes, a sign that his kidneys had failed.
Despite his health problems, Karin said Nathan takes everything in his stride.
“My sister said he is the bravest, most courageous person she’s ever met. I’m proud to be his mum.”
To join the organ donor register call 0300 123 23 23 or Karin on 01282 454902.