Sunderland mum’s gift of life to her son as he continues to fight the effects of meningitis

Jack Archer, 15,  with his parents Sharon and Tim. Sharon has volunteered to donate the kidney he will need in a transplant operation.
Jack Archer, 15, with his parents Sharon and Tim. Sharon has volunteered to donate the kidney he will need in a transplant operation.
Share this article
Have your say

A MUM is preparing to give her teenage son her own kidney in a bid to save his life.

Jack Archer, 15, has battled with the effects of meningitis since contracting the killer condition as a baby and has always known that at some stage he would need a kidney transplant.

Mum Sharon, 45 – who had surgery on a brain tumour only three years ago – is the perfect match.

The family, of Padgate Road, Pennywell were told in 1997, when Jack was just 18 months old, that he would eventually need a transplant.

It wasn’t until last year that they found the moment had come.

Dad Tim, 48, a coach driver, said: “The doctors took us into the room I call the bad news room.

“They told us that Jack’s kidneys were only working at 50 per cent and he was going to need a transplant.

“We both got tested. I was hoping it was going to be me. It still could be, but Sharon is a perfect match.”

Sharon went under the knife three years ago after her brain tumour scare but doctors found the tumour was benign.

She said: “I was so lucky, but it’s amazing what something like that does to you.

“I look at everything and everyone completely differently now.

“When I found out I was a match for Jack, I said straight away that I would do it. I’d do anything for him.

“Because I’ve had a brain tumour I’ll have to be tested closer to the time and doctors will have the final decision on whether they think I’m healthy enough to go ahead with it. If they say yes, it’ll be happening.”

Jack, a pupil at Academy 360, in Portsmouth Road, is being monitored to determine when he will need a transplant.

Tim said: “His kidney function is getting worse but he’s got such an amazing attitude about everything.

“He just gets on with things and doesn’t let anything bother him, and he does anything that other kids do.”

Jack, who has two sisters Samantha, 21, and Melanie, 13, a brother, Karl, 14, and a six-month-old niece Olivia, has undergone a series of operations and hospital treatments.

He has had part of two fingers removed, skin grafts to repair the damage left by meningitis and dialysis, as well as taking a series of different medications.

Tim said: “He’s covered head to toe in scars but he isn’t bothered. We’ve not really done anything about it, we’re going to leave it up to him to make that decision when he’s older.

“He can’t have his hair short because you can see the bald patches and scars but nothing seems to faze him.”

Jack, who dreams of becoming a pilot, said: “No one really talks about it all that much but it doesn’t bother me. If someone asks about my fingers I just tell them I had meningitis.

“I know I’m ill but I don’t feel like I am. I just feel normal.”