ITV Tyne Tees and Border weather presenter Ross Hutchinson recovering after donating kidney to dad

ITV Tyne Tees and Border weather presenter Ross Hutchinson is recovering in hospital after donating a kidney to his father. Credit: ITV

ITV Tyne Tees and Border weather presenter Ross Hutchinson has said he is recovering well after donating one of his kidneys to his father.

Ross underwent the operation at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, on Thursday 17 November and is hoping to go home later on Friday.

His dad, Robin Hutchinson, is also recovering well.

Ross decided to become a donor after learning his father was in kidney failure earlier this year.

He said: "I'm doing really well. It's been a well-oiled machine. I've been so well looked after. It's always going to be a stressful time for the family but I feel like I've almost coasted through because of the team here.

He added: "My dad's operation has gone well as well but it will take a couple of weeks to see if it is up and running. Fingers crossed everything keeps going well."

Robin Hutchinson underwent his transplant operation on Thursday evening. Credit: Robin Hutchinson

The process of donating an organ can be a long one, with numerous tests taking place to ensure the donor and recipient are a good match.

As well as testing blood types and tissue types, donors also have to take part in psychological tests to make sure they are prepared for the operation.

After months of preparation, Ross underwent the surgery on Thursday morning before his kidney was transported to London on a motorbike to allow his father to receive it on the same day.

Ross added: "It's been quite a process to get here. As soon as it became apparent my dad needed a kidney I wanted to see if I could donate. It was something I felt comfortable with from the start but it's not for everyone. You can only do what you feel comfortable with."

Ross will be off our screens until January and during his recovery is hoping to spend as much time as possible with his goats and chickens on his allotment.

What is a living kidney donation and what does it involve?

Kidneys are the most commonly donated organs by living people and about a third of all transplants carried out in the UK are from living donors.

They have been taking place since 1960 and have a very high success rate, with 96% of donated kidneys working well a year after the operation.

In most cases a kidney donated by a living donor offers the best long-term outcome for the recipient. Studies have shown that the average patient survival at 10 years is 90% with a living donor transplant compared to 75% after a deceased donor transplant.

Most people can live a healthy life with one kidney and donation is considered low risk. However there are some risks and uncommon complications can include fatigue and persistent pain.

The overall risk of developing significant kidney disease in your remaining kidney after donation is very low, occurring in less than one in 200 (0.5%) donors. That is lower than in the general population because kidney donors are prescreened to ensure they are healthy.

The number of patients on the waiting list for a kidney has increased this year to 5,655 according to the latest figures produced by the NHS's organ donation service.

The number of kidney transplants increased as well, with 3,272 taking place.

Of those, 923 were from living donors and 112 of them were made possible by the paired living kidney donation programme, which is available to families who cannot donate directly to their loved ones.

People wait an average of 509 days for a kidney, though that differs according to patient blood groups and ethnicity due to differences between the donor pool and patients awaiting a transplant.

The NHS said there are about 10,000 people on the organ transplant list and encourages people to think about whether they want to be on the donor register.

A spokesperson for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “It's great to see that the transplant has been such a success for them both. Organ transplants are truly life-changing and it's wonderful that Ross was a match for his dad and was able to give him a new lease of life.

“The number of living kidney donors increased last year, enabling more people to receive a lifesaving kidney transplant. However, there are still around 10,000 people waiting for an organ transplant so it is as crucial as ever for people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and let their family know their decision.” 

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