A father-of-two from Washington has received a life changing transplant after the development of a new way of assessing donor kidneys.
Brian Richards, 61, is living life to the full just two months after his operation at the Institute of Transplantation, based at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.
Mr Richards was the first patient in the North East to receive an organ involving a pioneering technique, which takes donor kidneys with a high chance of not working well after transplant and assessing whether they can make urine normally when given blood, oxygen and nutrients on a specialist perfusion machine outside the body.
Mr Richards said:
The technique, which warms the kidney to body temperature to assess how well it's working before a decision on transplantation is made, was developed by Professor Mike Nicholson from the University of Cambridge.
Professor Nicholson is now working closely with the team at the Institute of Transplantation to increase the supply of donor kidneys for transplantation.
Colin Wilson, Transplant Surgeon at the Freeman Hospital, carried out the operation on Mr Richards in March. He said:
There are currently 5,112 people waiting for a new kidney in the UK and last year more than 2,000 patients received a new kidney following the death of the donator.