A MUM who donated one of her kidneys to save her son’s life is marking 12 months since the life-changing moment by raising funds for charity.

Luke Horne was diagnosed with kidney failure in December 2020 and was told that if he had not come to hospital, he would have likely suffered a fatal cardiac arrest.

When the 24-year-old was told that he needed a kidney transplant, his mum, Elaine, quickly stepped forward.

To mark 12 months since the transplant, 48-year-old Elaine is walking the 24-mile course of the Edinburgh KiltWalk on September 18 to raise money for Kidney Research UK.

The mum-of-two described the scary situation that the family faced ahead of Christmas 2020.

East Lothian Courier: Elaine Horne is doing her bit for kidney research ahead of the anniversary of donating a kidney to her son

She said: “The fact that Luke had never really been unwell told us immediately that something was wrong.

“The hardest part of Luke’s ordeal was not being able to be with him as he was rushed to hospital and knowing that he was in such a vulnerable position.

“As soon as we knew Luke was in need of a transplant, both my husband and I instantly contacted the living donor team in Edinburgh and the moment I was confirmed as a match for Luke, I was so happy, relieved and grateful that Luke was going to be able to live life off dialysis and that all the tests were carried out so quickly.”

Luke was experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 when a negative PCR test led his GP to call him in for a urine sample.

It soon became clear that Luke, who lives in North Berwick, was seriously unwell.

He was soon sent straight to hospital in Edinburgh, where his parents were told that he needed to be admitted to intensive care.

Five per cent

Shocked that Luke was still able to walk, doctors explained that his kidney function was at about five per cent and his blood pressure was over 200.

Medics decided against moving him to a regional renal unit in case he suffered a cardiac arrest during the 10-minute journey.

Luke spent Christmas in hospital before starting gruelling five-hour dialysis sessions three times a week.

Doctors agreed that Luke’s best chance of a positive outcome would be for him to receive a kidney transplant, and both Elaine and her husband, Michael, began the process to check whether they might be a match.

After all the test results came through, Elaine, of East Linton, was given the green light to be her son’s donor.

Last September, the operation took place and the two have made a full recovery.

'Fully recovered'

Elaine, who runs Stoves & More with Michael, was pleased to tell the Courier: “Eight months on from our operation, both Luke and I have fully recovered and are doing really well.

“But without a cure for kidney disease, there is a lot more work that needs to be done.

“I am walking this year’s Edinburgh KiltWalk to celebrate our ‘kidneyversary’ and raise much-needed funds for Kidney Research UK.

“The money raised will go towards helping to find ways to improve the longevity of a transplanted kidney, as well investigating the various types of kidney disease and how to improve the quality of life for a kidney patient.”

Transplants remain a treatment, not a cure.

According to Kidney Research UK, a kidney transplant will last an average of 20 years, meaning that Luke will likely need to find another donor in due course.

Marc Shaw, head of community and events at Kidney Research UK, said: “People celebrate their kidneyversary in so many ways and it is always an honour when supporters like Elaine choose to raise money for us on their special day.

“This year’s KiltWalk will be a really special occasion for participants and supporters to walk together in person.

“Thanks to the Hunter Foundation, all Kiltwalkers’ sponsorship is topped up by another 50 per cent, which is hugely generous.”

Registration for this year’s September event is currently open and fundraisers can go to kidneyresearchuk.org/fundraising-events/kiltwalk to sign up.