Son becomes mum’s hero by donating life-saving kidney

William Russell, 37, has been supporting his mum Linda, 63, for years throughout her three decade battle with kidney disease.

Family: Linda and William Russell. SWNS
Family: Linda and William Russell.

A man saved his mum’s life and ended her 30-year misery by donating his kidney.

William Russell, 37, has been supporting his mum Linda, 63, for years throughout her three-decade battle with kidney disease.

In 2018, when doctors delivered the devastating news that she would die without a transplant, Mr Russell immediately offered to help.

Tests revealed he was a suitable donor match and the brave dad-of-one went under the knife on December 17 last year.

The transplant was a success, however Ms Russell suffered a heart attack a day after the operation at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

She battled on and was released on Christmas Day.

Mr Russell, a supermarket worker from Glasgow, said: “My mum has been battling kidney disease for 32 years – she was rushed into hospital the night before my fifth birthday.

“My mum being in and out of hospital was normal to me growing up, but over the years, her condition has steadily got worse.

“Last year she could not get dialysis as she only had 8% kidney function.

“The doctors told her the only option was to have a transplant or she would die.

“They told my mum she had run out of options, so me and my siblings got tested and I was the best match.”

Operation: Linda Russell suffered a heart attack a day after the transplant.

Ms Russell said she was “proud” and “grateful” to her son.

She said: “Receiving a kidney from William has been fabulous. It is early days but we are both recovering well from our operations.

“I am so proud of him for doing this and so grateful to be here because of him.”

Mr Russell, who has worked for Asda for the past 13 years, was initially told he could only have full sick pay for six weeks – not 12 – as he had been off earlier in the year with a bad back.

However, shop bosses later changed their mind.

Mr Russell said: “I am happy to hear that Asda are now willing to pay me after all, but I really could have done without this stress whilst recovering from major surgery.

“All I wanted was to help my mum stay alive, and I’m so pleased the surgery was a success and to see her doing so well after years of struggling with sickness.

“It was a no brainer for me to come forward and donate.

“It’s hard to put into words how proud I feel for doing this but the best part for me is my mum is the healthiest she has been for almost all of my life.”

A spokesperson for Asda said: ‘’Whilst we would never comment on an individual’s specific circumstances, we will always work to support our colleagues when they need time off work and offer a range of benefits to colleagues, including up to 12 weeks paid sick leave in a year.

“Should a colleague need additional time off due to special circumstances we will always do what we can to provide further support and have, on this occasion, given additional paid leave to William.”