Transplant patient launches 'Tazfest' to thank Sunderland Royal Hospital and help others needing treatment and care
A Sunderland dad who had a lifesaving kidney transplant, thanks to his donor wife, has given back to the unit which treated him by hosting his own festival of music and laughter.
Tariq Ahmed, 54, wanted to mark the 10th anniversary of his transplant with a huge party.
The pandemic delayed the party by two years, but “Tazfest” finally went ahead in October 2022. The £2,755 cheque has now been presented to the renal unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Before his wife Tracy, 55, was found to be a close enough match to donate a kidney, Tariq needed dialysis at home with the support of the team.
Tariq, a retail sales advisor and Tracy, who works in finance for the NHS, underwent the transplant through the Institute of Transplantation at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
They remain in close contact with the team at the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, who give them an annual check.
The couple, who have two grown up sons, presented the money to the team before Christmas.
Many department staff were among the 100-plus guests at Tazfest at the Masonic temple on Burdon Road, which featured father and son band Nutopians, with party-goers invited to sponsor a song on their set.
The couple’s nieces, Laura and Beth Carr, got everyone dancing with a performance from Swan Lake. There was also a quiz, an auction and raffle, while a friend’s business made the cause its charity of the month.
Tariq said: “The renal department have looked after us since 2008 so we wanted to give something back to them.
“I always said I wanted to do something to mark my transplant and people came from all over the country to take part, it was an excellent night.”
Dr Sid Ahmed oversees the Renal Unit and said: “We are overjoyed with the donation by Tariq and Tracy, it is incredibly kind of them to think of us as they hosted this event.
“This money will be a great help and we plan to use it to fund tablet screens, which patients will be able to use to access information which will help educate them about their condition and keep well, as well as watch videos while they undergo their treatment.”