Six years ago, Harborough schoolboy George Clarke was a sick seven-year-old lad, with failing kidneys.
“He wouldn’t eat, he was tired all the time, and I don’t think there was much enjoyment in his life,” said his mum, Julie Clarke.
But George, now aged 13, is a completely different person these days – thanks to a kidney transplant.
“Immediately after his transplant in 2009, you could see things change,” said Julie.
“The transplant changed his life; he suddenly had loads of energy.
“Now people who don’t know his story would have no idea what he’s gone through.”
World Kidney Day was last week, which is why the Clarkes want to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.
Julie said: “Many people don’t feel comfortable or don’t want to consider what will happen when they die.
“But for the 6,000-plus people who are waiting for a transplant, this brief conversation or a few minutes registering your details could be the difference between life and death.”
The Clarkes, along with the families of other kidney patients in the area, are holding an information event at Harborough Market, in Northampton Road, this Saturday.
The event runs from 10am until 1pm.
The idea is to raise awareness of the importance of talking to family members about the subject of organ donation, and also registering as an organ donor.
Julie said: “Having a five-minute conversation and letting close relatives know your thoughts, or better still registering yourself on the organ donation register, will ensure that everyone is clear on what you would have wanted.
“Organ donation makes a real difference to people’s lives, not just for the recipient but also for their family and friends.
“We still feel as thankful to the donor and their family as we did six years ago when George had the transplant.
“What an amazing legacy.”
George was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure at 16- months-old.
He went on the UK transplant register in March 2007 and waited two years for a kidney donor.
The transplant operation was at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham on January 17, 2009.
Julie said: “It was the hardest four hours of my life.
“Not only were we coping with the emotions of having a child undergoing a major operation, but our thoughts were also with the family who had generously donated such a wonderful gift for George.
“We will always be thankful to that amazing family.”