A woman has made a desperate Facebook appeal to find a kidney donor after spending 15 years on the transplant waiting list.
Victoria Firth, 38, discovered she had total renal failure in 1998 and now relies on gruelling dialysis four times a week to keep her alive.
Her condition means she has shortness of breath, is constantly fatigued and has been unable to work for the last 10 years.
A new kidney would give Victoria a “new lease of life” but a perfect match has never been found despite spending 15 years on the transplant waiting list.
Now, Victoria, from Redbrook near Barnsley, South Yorks., has decided to take matters into her own hands in her bid to lead a normal life.
Victoria has created a poster, shared on Facebook three weeks ago, urging more people to come forward to register as a possible donor.
She said: “I thought it was worth a try to get the word out there about how I really need a donor.
“You never know, with the reach of social media, it just might get to that one person who could be a perfect match.
“A kidney would be a new lease of life, a life off a machine. I have been waiting around for too long now, something needs to happen.”
Victoria was diagnosed with total renal failure in April 1998 aged 17 and had to give up a nursing college at college due to the condition.
She began dialysis six years later in 2004 and was at first constantly in and out of hospital.
Victoria now has dialysis at home four times a week but with each session taking around five hours to complete, she is desperate to lead a normal life.
“I try not to let my condition rule my life, but it does,” she added.
“I have dialysis four times a week and from start to finish the process takes five or six hours so it does take it out of you.
“It has stopped me from working, most exercises, it wipes me out on a day-to-day basis. You just take each day as it comes.
“A new kidney would be life-changing. I’ve been on the list for years but have never ever had that call to say there is an organ, whereas some people have had 30 calls.
“I will only get that call if it is a perfect match.
“I’ve never appealed for help before and the poster feels a bit like begging but if it reaches the right person it really could be the difference between life or death.
“The more people who come forward as potential donors the more lives could be saved.”
According to NHS Blood and Transplant, more than 1,000 people in the UK each year donate a kidney or part of their liver while they are still alive.
A healthy person can lead a normal life with only one functioning kidney and part of a liver can also be transplanted from a living donor to help someone in need of a transplant.
In the UK, around 5,000 people are current;y in need of a kidney transplant, with hundreds of patients dying each year while they wait for the gift of life.