Uzma Asgar from the Midlands gave her daughter the greatest gift of all this all at Christmas – she donated her kidney to save her little girl’s life.
12-year-old Azia Hassan had faced months of grueling dialysis as she waited on the transplant list after she got a virus which caused her kidney to fail.
When it became clear that Azia needed an urgent transplant her mum Uzma Asghar immediately offered to donate her own kidney.
And, remarkably for the 12-year-old this was her SECOND transplant as she had already received a kidney from her dad.
Uzma underwent her surgery at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital to remove her kidney.
Meanwhile, just a few miles away at City Children’s Hospital Azia was in surgery awaiting for the vital delivery of her new kidney.
On December 22 Azia recovered fully and was allowed to go home for Christmas.
Mum Uzma said on the day of her surgery “It was the hardest day of my life being away from Azia, We have a special bond – all the nurses on the ward would say it.”
She continued to say “For all her other operations I have always been by her side, going into the theatre.”
“So that was the most horrible part. I was in another hospital. I couldn’t be there to hold her hand and see her wake up.
“The night before I gave her a hug and told her it was OK to cry. I knew it was for the best so that she could get better.”
The next day I was an emotional wreck. I just wanted to see her. When I heard the good news that the surgery had gone well, it was a huge relief.”
Aiza was just two years old she when she diagnosed with congenital nephrotic syndrome, after both her kidneys failed.
The condition causes a loss of protein in the body, and she had to undergo three years of dialysis because she was simply too small for a transplant.
It was just before Azia fifth birthday that she underwent her first transplant at Birmingham Children’s Hospital – after her father donated his kidney.
The operation was a success, but four years later she developed a viral infection that meant the kidney started to fail.
At first it would appear the kidney was still functioning, but by October 2017 it became clear that she would need a new one.
If one wasn’t found she would face hours of dialysis every week and having to take more than 60 tablets and an injection every day.
Without a second thought mum Uzma, a full-time carer volunteered.
“It wasn’t something I had to think about very hard,” says Uzma. “You want your child to have the very best chance in life.
“If I can survive with one healthy kidney and Azia desperately needs the other to live as normal a life as possible, why wouldn’t I choose to donate?
“I had been tested before when she had her first operation, so I knew I was a match.
“My ex-husband was found to be a better match so he donated his, and we always knew that I could be a back-up.”
Four days later after Uzma’s surgery and in good recovery she was discharged and was able to visit Azia every day.
Uzma hopes that Azia can start to live a normal life again and go back to school and socialise with her friends.
“She has been very unwell since September, and has missed so much school,” says the relieved mum.
“When she’s on dialysis there are certain foods that she can’t eat, and she can only have 500ml of liquids every day.
“She will be on medication for life – but that’s OK. Fingers crossed, she can finally start living like a normal 12-year-old girl again.”
Azia’s mum is urging people to sign up to the organ donation register – to give the gift of life to others.
“It’s so important that people sign up to the register,” says Umza, who lives in Burton-on-Trent.
For more information about organ donation or to sign up to the organ donation register please visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk.