A north-east woman has revealed she is thankful every day for the stranger who saved her life by donating a kidney.
Back in 2009, Rachel Hall from Rothienorman fell seriously ill and was rushed to hospital. After two weeks of tests, she was told she had kidney failure and would have to go on dialysis – undergoing treatment to filter waste products from her blood, because her internal organs were no longer able to carry out that function.
For years, she endured thrice-weekly four-hour trips to the hospital and took a job as a school cleaner in an effort to keep family life stable for her partner Colin and daughter Chirlene.
Mrs Hall, 51, said: “Once I got my head round what had happened, I accepted it and just got on with things.
“I’m a positive person and wasn’t going to lie down to being ill, which is why I took on the cleaning job.
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“It was what had been written for me, and the only option was to get through it.”
Mrs Hall spent three years on the transplant waiting list as her rare blood type made it hard to find a match.
But everything changed when she got the call to say a living kidney donor had been found.
She said: “It was like the feeling when you’re longing to have a baby, and someone tells you you’re pregnant.
“The change to my life has been unbelievable.
“Apart from feeling so much better, I don’t have to worry about dialysis, we can plan things and go on holiday.”
During the last decade, just 78 Scots have signed up to be a living kidney donor.
And Mrs Hall is exceptionally grateful for the stranger who helped her.
She added: “It is truly the most wonderful gift you could ever give to someone and I say ‘Well done and God bless’ every day when I think about what they have done for me.”
For more information, visit livingdonationscotland.org