A TRANSPLANT survivor is in a race for life after her body rejected a donor kidney.
Sarah Laing has been left so ill following the rejection that at one point she died in A&E before medics managed to revive her.
Now, the 20-year-old, of Moorside, Sunderland, is praying for a miracle as she waits for a suitable donor. Sarah has to endure three hours of dialysis four times a week at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.
At just 18 months old, the youngster was diagnosed with cystinosis, a rare genetic disease that affects just one in 200,000 people.
The disease led to the failure of Sarah’s kidneys when she was just seven.
Years of dialysis followed until a donor kidney was eventually found when she was 15.
Sarah’s mum, Anne, 54, said: “It was amazing for her, she managed to regain some independence and could go out and about.
“It was really devastating when, after four years, the kidney started to fail.
“She has managed to eat a lot more when she was well, but since the rejection she has again lost a lot of weight.”
Sarah’s donor kidney, which she affectionately dubbed ‘Sidney the Kidney’, came from a woman who was killed in a car accident.
Now, because she is classed as an adult, Sarah is no longer a priority and her main hope of a transplant is from a live donor.
Her older brother, Mark, 34, is about to undergo a range of tests to see if he can be a donor for his sister.
Sarah, who lives in Marlow Drive, said: “The kidney lasted for four years and that was better than nothing, but I am really hoping my brother will be a match.
“It was great when I first got the kidney because I could go out on my own more, to the cinema, bowling and shopping, just normal things.
“Now it is very difficult.”
When her body rejected the donor kidney, Sarah had to give up her place on an art and design course at City of Sunderland College.
She also put on hold plans to go on holiday with her friend, Amy Allison, who she met years ago when both girls were undergoing dialysis.
But, although she has her down days, Sarah, who also has a 31-year-old sister, Clare, says she is determined to stay positive and go out whenever she feels well enough.
The former St Anthony’s school pupil said: “If I just sat in the house feeling sorry for myself, I would go mad.”