Gift of health that money can’t buy
Published on: 30 Nov 2014
DANIEL Cowley will give his mum and dad an extra big hug this Christmas after a year in which he achieved more than any of them ever thought possible.
Like thousands of others, Daniel completed his first 5k run in 2014. But what makes his effort unique is that he has undergone two kidney transplants – with donor organs from both his parents.
“I feel very privileged to be fit and healthy now. It is time for me to give something back,” said Daniel, 35, who took part in the Chepstow Stampede in aid of kidney research.
Daniel's left kidney failed before he was born, although this was not discovered until he developed meningitis at six weeks old. “It was a miracle that I survived,” he said.
The kidney was removed and he underwent treatment and surgery as a child but went on to live a normal life and became a police community support officer, serving seven years in Staple Hill before moving to the Downend beat in January this year. He won a PCSO of the Year award in 2013.
But in 2009 Daniel's remaining kidney failed. His dad Roger was found to be a good match, and donated one of his kidneys – but weeks after the surgery the organ failed. “It was a shock and a surprise that it didn't work,” he said.
Daniel then had to undergo a punishing regime of dialysis until another donor was found. Fortunately, his mother Deb was also identfied as a suitable match and the second transplant was successful, enabling Daniel to go back to the job he loves after more than a year away.
“I was able to return to work after more than a year and I have been fine. I am now able to do my job to a higher standard, helping to reassure people and make sure they feel safe and secure.”
He decided to challenge himself by doing the run, and now plans to keep up his fitness and attempt a 10k next.
“I have had such amazing support from my family, from work and from the doctors and nurses. This is my way of saying thank you. I want to do my bit to support research, not only into the reasons that caused my failure, but also for the thousands of others who still suffer from this awful condition” he said.
Daniel has already raised more than £500 for Kidney Research UK. His fund is still open and can be found by searching for Daniel's Chepstow Stampede 2014 fundraising page.