Fresh hope in search to find lifesaving donor for teenager Abi

Abi Longfellow
Abi Longfellow

The mum of seriously-ill teenager Abi Longfellow has told of her renewed hope for the future as the search to find a lifesaving kidney donor for her daughter continues.

Abi, 15, from Robin Hood, near Leeds, has been on the waiting list for a transplant since last year and in May her family made a moving appeal for potential donors to come forward.

Their plea prompted offers of help from hundreds of people nationwide, with testing now under way to see if any of them can provide the kidney that Abi so desperately needs.

Sadly, checks on an initial group of four of the volunteers – selected using criteria including age and medical history – failed to find a suitable match.

Now the Longfellows are waiting for the results of tests that are being run on four more of the would-be donors.

Abi’s mum, Jo, said: “When you hear that those first four people haven’t got through it’s a blow because you desperately want a match to be found.

“But although all you can do is sit and wait, you also know that, actually, we have got some progress here.

“The fact there has been such a quantity of people that have stepped forward surely has got to increase our odds of finding a match in comparison to where we were before the campaign started.”

Abi has a rare condition called Dense Deposit Disease which stops her kidneys filtering waste from her blood.

Jo would normally be a suitable donor for her daughter but in a cruel twist of fate cannot help as she herself suffers from a blood disorder.

Doctors at one stage hoped that Abi’s dad, Andy, might be a match but testing raised fears that her body might reject his kidney.

People willing to sign up as potential donors are asked to contact the renal transplant team at St James’s Hospital by e-mailing leedsth-tr.livedonorrenaltransplant@nhs.net.