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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Loving Cockermouth father donates kidney to his daughter

A Cockermouth father has shown the ultimate love for his daughter by donating a kidney to her.

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Happy family: Cockermouth man Norman Pitts has donated one of his kidneys to his daughter Julie Irving

Norman Pitts, 74, of Henry Street, and daughter Julie Irving, 51, of Langdale Drive, are both now recovering after the major transplant.

It means that Julie, who has had health problems since she was 21, now has a kidney operating at 97 per cent.

Norman said: “When I found out about Julie’s condition there was never a doubt in my mind that I would put myself forward.

“There was no way I wanted to see her go through dialysis if I could help it.”

Norman, a former assistant operations manager for parks and cemeteries at Allerdale council, is vice chairman of Cockermouth Rugby Union club. He is married to Norah. He and Julie recently travelled to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital to have the operation.

Julie’s condition was never considered serious until it worsened after the birth of her daughter Kerry in 1985.

She had her appendix taken out but was told this year that her kidneys were only working at 10 per cent of what they should, and that she would have to go to a dialysis machine.

Norman and his other daughter Shirley Ward put themselves forward as potential donors and after tests found out they were both compatible.

He said: “I always felt I was a reasonably fit person and I just feel very lucky that I was compatible with Julie. It is marvellous that I have been able to do it and I don’t feel any different at all.”

Julie said: “This is a million times better than what dialysis would have been. I am just glad dad could do something to help.”

She is taking 30 tablets a day to make sure her body does not reject the kidney and visits Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary three times a week for tests.

Both she and Norman cannot drive or lift anything heavy until after Christmas.

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