The little girl from Hartlepool wishing for a new kidney this New Year

Five-year-old Poppy has dialysis six nights a week. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A five-year-old girl from Hartlepool is desperately seeking a kidney donor this New Year.

Poppy Lancaster was diagnosed with kidney failure in May 2019 when a doctor noticed a difference in her growth compared to her twin sister Violet.

On 1 January 2021, a match was found, and Poppy had a transplant at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

Sadly, several blood clots caused the kidney to fail just days later and the organ had to be removed.

Gavin Lancaster, Poppy's father, said: "Initially, all was good, then on 2 January they found a blockage in one of the valves, and then on 4 January it happened again. They found several blockages so the decision was made to remove the kidney.

"I think initially it was devastating, but it was obviously the best thing for her as it was making her poorly."

Now back on the waiting list, Poppy has dialysis six nights a week with a machine connected to her bed at home.

Poppy's mum, Becky Lancaster, said: "Her machine does what her kidneys don't do. She has medicines twice a day, also an injection once a week to give her a bit of energy because her iron is really low, and a growth hormone injection every day."

Gavin added: "You go from living a relatively normal life to a totally different way of living."

He has recently become an ambassador for NHS Blood and Transplant and uses his events entertainment business to promote the charity Kidney Research UK, and spread awareness of organ donation.

Poppy received her first transplant at the RVI in January 2021. Credit: Family photo

NHS Blood and Transplant statistics from 23 December 2022 show there are currently 5170 people waiting for a kidney transplant in the UK, 115 of those are children.

In May 2020, the law changed to make organ donation an opt-out system. It means all adults will become an organ donor when they die, unless they have opted out or are in an excluded group. People can also sign up to become living organ donors too, with many kidney transplants coming from this type of donation.

Clare Fletcher, from the Northern Organ Donation Services Team for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "Without patients on the organ donor register or families saying yes to organ donation when we have those conversations, they simply wouldn't get that call, they wouldn't get their life-saving transplant."

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