'Mum's kidney donation changed my life," says Doncaster grandson of TV magician Paul Daniels

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A Doncaster student and grandson of the late TV magician Paul Daniels has said his mother’s kidney donation has ‘changed his life completely.’

Lewis Daniels, 24, from Haxey, was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy in 2018 after a stay in hospital and a year later, was told he would need a transplant with his mum Joanne, 48, the best match.

Mrs Daniels said the decision had been a "no brainer" and any parent would have done the same.

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"It has changed my life completely," Lewis, whose dad Martin is also a TV magician and entertainer, told BBC Radio Sheffield.

Lewis Daniels with late grandad Paul Daniels and dad Martin Daniels.Lewis Daniels with late grandad Paul Daniels and dad Martin Daniels.
Lewis Daniels with late grandad Paul Daniels and dad Martin Daniels.

"I wouldn't be in this position if I hadn't received this kidney, if my mum hadn't donated this kidney to me."

He had been studying physiotherapy in Liverpool and was a keen sports player when he began to experience severe cramps at night.

He went for blood tests and was shocked to get a text an hour later, which said he should "go to A&E now".

Lewis said he immediately thought the worst.

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"When you are told 'go now' you immediately think, because of the awareness, cancer."

Mum Joanne was aware Lewis was having the tests, but had not initially been concerned.

"He'd always got a cold, he was getting the muscle cramps so I didn't think he was eating properly and he was sneezing a lot and was generally unwell."

Lewis would spend three days in hospital before being diagnosed with IgA nephropathy.

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"It is an autoimmune condition which causes inflammation in the kidneys and the filters in the kidneys get blocked," he explained.

He was told his kidney function was just 25% of what it should have been, but it was hoped he could be stabilised with medication.

A year later he learned he would need a pre-emptive kidney transplant.

His family were tested to see if they would be a suitable match and Joanne was considered the best candidate.

"Because it was my son it was a no brainer," she said.

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"Any mother or father would give their child anything they could if it meant they would stay alive."

The transplant took place in July 2019 at Sheffield Teaching Hospital.

"At the time you get on with it, you don't cry, you don't feel sorry for yourself, looking back it does stress me out," Joanne said.

Following the operation, Joanne said she had worried about her son's mental health especially during the pandemic.

"Life just stopped for him," she said.

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Lewis is now studying to become a personal trainer and will participate in the British Transplant Games as part of the England and Wales cricket team in Coventry in July.

Joanne said her son was now able to look forward and could start to "get on with his life properly".