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FRIENDS of a former Northumbria University student are spreading the word of her sister’s battle for life as they desperately seek a live kidney donor.

Katherine Green-Hall of Normanby, Teesside, lost her sight earlier this month after a lifelong fight against kidney problems, and is waiting for a suitable donor which could save her life.

Katherine, 37, suffered failure in both kidneys at the age of eight, and received a transplant a year later which lasted until she was 21. She then spent four years on dialysis before getting another transplant, which failed after 18 months.

The years of dialysis and sickness have taken their toll, and now low blood pressure has caused capillaries behind her eyes to close off, leading to a complete loss of sight.

This came just months after husband Lyndon, 40, had to have his right leg amputated to stop the spread of cancer.

Now friends of her sister Alex, who studied in Newcastle but now works in the fashion industry in London, are backing a call for live donors and are joining Alex in attempting to spread the word as far as possible

“It’s been a horrific couple of weeks, Katherine’s sight just deteriorated over two days, we are all devastated,” said Alex, who is unable to help her sister because she herself only has one kidney. “We always knew it could happen, but we had been holding out hope that a donor would be found.

“I made a heartfelt plea on my own Facebook page for people who may have considered becoming a live donor, but it’s not a straightforward thing.

“We’ve had about 50 people express interest so far, but that’s just the start. Katherine has just a two per cent chance of finding a match so we need as many people as possible come forward.”

Atul Malhotra, operations director at Newcastle-based Malhotra Group plc, met Alex when they were both at university.

“This is such a tragic story and I believe that Katherine’s story needs to be heard by as many people as possible so she can hopefully find a live donor match,” he said.

“She has had such a tough struggle throughout her whole life, and now to lose her sight at just 37 is so, so sad.

“I am urging as many people as possible to get tested to see if they are suitable to become a live donor. I hope if we can get the message out far and wide that someone, somewhere is suitable match, and can consider helping transform the life of this young lady.”

To enquire further about kidney donation, contact the renal department at James Cook University hospital, Middlesbrough on 01642 854 732 or Annette, transplant secretary at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle on 0191 213 1218.

To learn more about Katherine, visit:  www.facebook.com/kidneyforkatherinehall

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