'I wouldn't have got a new kidney without the Covid jab' says Plymouth man

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A Plymouth man who was taken off the transplant list last year as coronavirus spread is celebrating a successful operation which he says has given him a new lease of life.

Douglas Kerr had been waiting for a new kidney for three years. As Covid-19 caused huge pressure on local hospitals, he feared it might never happen.

But last month he underwent surgery and is now back home recovering.

Doug says he wouldn't have received a new kidney without the Covid vaccine Credit: ITV News

Doug said: "I got my first vaccine on 4 February and my second on 1 March.

"I got a call from the transplant team saying 'Have you had your second vaccine yet?' I said yes, and they said they could get me back on the list. Then they said they had a match." The operation at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital went smoothly and the donated kidney is functioning well.

While Doug faces another three months of shielding, for the first time in a long while the family are excited about the future.

Doug's wife, Annemarie, said: "We're just so happy. We've seen the light at the end of the tunnel and we've got a whole life to look forward to."

Doug and Annemarie say they 'can see the light at the end of the tunnel.' Credit: ITV News

Jeremy Hughes, from the charity Kidney Research UK, says Doug's case highlights how important it is for people with kidney disease to have the vaccine when it is offered.

"If you are a transplant patient or a patient on dialysis and you are admitted to hospital with Covid-19 there is a one in five chance that you will die," he said.

"Vaccination is the way out and we need to get everybody vaccinated."

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