Barrow mum saved by sister's kidney speaks about the importance of organ donation in Cumbria
A MUM-OF-TWO has spoken about the kidney transplant which changed her life, in the hope of promoting national Organ Donor Week.
Lucy Mulroy, 35, was diagnosed with Goodpasture's syndrome by medics after falling poorly in 2003.
The rare condition only affects around one in a million people and sees a person's antibodies attacking the membrane in the kidneys.
Miss Mulroy, who's from Barrow, then had a series of treatments including chemotherapy, a plasma exchange and spent months on dialysis in specialist renal units in both Preston and Kendal.
"I had blood tests done by my doctor and he sent me straight to A&E.
"I stayed in Preston for six months and it took them about a month to diagnose me.
"I had two years of dialysis and then I got pregnant, even though the chances were so small."
After having her baby boy, the Granville Street resident was then placed on the transplant waiting list but did not feel positive about her chances of finding a match after meeting a woman who had spent nine years on the list.
However, the teaching assistant was astonished to hear both her sisters were an identical match.
Selflessly, older sister Nicola volunteered and didn't think twice about giving her sister one of her kidneys.
Miss Mulroy said: "She was in a lot of pain after, she's a total trooper.
"I remember I could see her on the operating table and it was frightening, but it was amazing what she did.
"She thinks nothing of it and says that's just what you do for someone you love."
The former hairdresser is now a passionate advocate of organ donation following her operation in 2006.
She is hoping the government will change the current opt-in scheme to one similar to the one in Wales, where people must actively remove themselves from the organ donor list.
Miss Mulroy also believes people need to talk about the issue more, saying it is still "a touchy subject."
"I think the opt-out scheme is fantastic but I worry for the NHS because they will need more theatres and nurses and they are struggling as it is.
"I was only 21 at the time, I just didn't have a clue."
The mum-of-two has also been very honest with her two sons, Ethan and Harry, who she says "understand their aunty saved mum's life," and would fully support their decisions to become donors in the future.