A woman who selflessly donated her kidney to her husband says he ‘saved her life too’ after she almost died during surgery – and medics diagnosed she had a heart condition.
Elaine Geekie, 45, put herself forward to see if she was a match for her husband Mike, 63, when his kidney failed due to type two diabetes.
House inspector Mike became tired and unable to move around due to his failing kidney and needed a transplant in order to survive.
She was a match and the couple went ahead with the surgery in July 2020, but Elaine nearly lost her own life after a heart problem was discovered during the procedure at Edinburgh Royal Hospital, Edinburgh.
The transplant has been life-changing for Mike – who can now go on walks with his dogs again – and Elaine says had it not been for the procedure, she might never have known about her heart condition- that she is now undergoing tests to find out what it is.
Despite it being a close call and Elaine almost dying, she says she ‘wouldn’t change a thing’.
Elaine, a funeral director from Aberdeen, Scotland, said: “When we found out Mike’s kidney was failing I knew I wanted to see if I was a match.
“I wanted to do what I could to save him and help him have a life again.
“It was so difficult to see him so ill.
“Giving him a kidney really was an amazing thing I could do.
“I feel so privileged I could.
“It was scary that my heart almost failed me while I was on the table but I have no regrets.
“In a way, Mike has saved me too – without going through the op, I might never have known about my heart.”
Mike said: “I can’t thank my wife enough for all she has done for me.
“She’s quite literally saved my life and made my quality of life so much better.
“Almost losing her was terrifying. I am so relieved she pulled through and we’re both here to tell the tale.”
In October 2018 Mike started to get out of breath and tired after a short walk.
He found out his kidney was only functioning at 13 percent capacity – meaning he needed a transplant – just a few months before he was due to marry Elaine.
He had already had his hernia removed a year previously in June 2019, and desperately needed a new organ to survive.
Fortunately they were still able to have their wedding but it was a weight on their shoulders on their big day that Mike would need to undergo a transplant to survive.
“We were crushed,” Elaine said.
“They mentioned he would need a transplant and I suddenly thought to ask if I was a match.”
Elaine went through the testing process and discovered in October 2019 that she was a perfect match.
“Once I found out I knew I had to do it,” she said.
“It was amazing to know but scary at the same time.
“But it’s my husband and I love him so it was a no brainer to donate my kidney.”
The pair had to wait until July 2020 for the operation due to the coronavirus pandemic and the protocol.
By this point Mike was having to lie down for a lot of the day and became very tired very easily.
Elaine went into theatre at Edinburgh Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland, and nearly lost her life after heart complications and had to be put on beta blockers.
Fortunately she survived and was told her kidney she had donated was very healthy.
Her kidney was put into her husband and the operation went successfully.
But a few days later Mike had to be rushed back into surgery as his testical cord had wrapped around the kidney.
After removing the cord, Mike was able to recover and is now back to good health.
“His colour has returned and he can take the dogs for a walk,” Elaine said.
“I’ve got my husband back and it feels amazing.
“I feel so proud of him and I know he is proud of me for donating my kidney.
“But to me it was the least I could do.”
Mike said: “It is totally unbelievable.
“I don’t think I realised quite how bad I was.
“The difference in me is incredible.
“I am so proud of my wife.”