Long-lost Barnsley pals brought back together by online appeal for kidney donation

  • Video report by Sally Simpson

Two friends who had drifted apart say they have been brought back together by a life-saving kidney donation.

Bev Farnsworth from Barnsley has suffered for decades with polycystic kidney disease - a genetic disorder which had already taken the life of her mum and grandmother.

She had already had one kidney removed during cancer treatment and her remaining kidney continued to degrade.

Desperate to avoid dialysis, Bev turned to social media, in a desperate plea for a stranger to donate their kidney to her.

The 65-year-old grandmother said: "I didn't focus on the disease I focused on life. There were very few people knew about it so I just thought if I don't tell anybody nobody can help me so I penned an appeal."

In a remarkable twist, one person who came forward was no stranger but in fact long lost friend Lisa Chapman who Bev had not seen for more than 20 years.

Twelve volunteers who replied to the post were tested but mother-of-two Lisa was the best match.

Bev's social media plea for help

The 49-year-old said: "I just feel like I haven't really done anything so amazing. She were really good to me when we knocked about together so it's just lovely that you've helped somebody.

"She's got kids, she's got grandkids and giving her that second chance of life when she's so active and outgoing and such a lovely person it's just lovely."

Bev said she wakes up every morning and "just can't believe it."

Bev was given a "second chance at life" after Lisa came forward as a kidney donor

They are now raising cash for the Leeds transplant unit which performed their surgery - and awareness of living donation.

Lisa said the operation has not negatively affected her life at all.

She said:"I didn't realise you could actually donate an organ while you were still alive so it's raising that awareness that you can save a life and still have a healthy life yourself."

Bev said one of the best things to come from the experience is that they have rekindled their friendship.

She said: "There is a bond. That's one of the best things I think. It's a bond that a lot of other people don't have."

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