A YOUNG woman who donated her kidney to a new dad after reading about his plight in a newspaper has been re-united with him seven weeks after the transplant.

Allan McGowan, 25, from Bellshill, in Lanarkshire, was rushed to hospital a week after his son Colton was born and told his kidney function had dropped to just 8 per cent.

Allan, who suffers from the genetic kidney disease Alport syndrome, received the call that Jennie Differ had agreed to become his living donor, a year after starting dialysis.

The transplant was carried out on January 22 at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, with the pair meeting for the first time as Jennie was discharged after surgery.

Allan said: “When Jennie came in to see me, I must have said thanks about a hundred times.

“It was a total selfless act. Just shows you that there are good people out there.

“I’m recovering well and am able to do so much more with my wee boy, who keeps me on my toes.

“Being rid of dialysis is brilliant. I have a future and I have Jennie to thank for that.”

Since 2009, 78 people have altruistically donated a kidney in Scotland.

A healthy person can lead a completely normal life with one kidney, and a kidney from a living donor generally offers the best outcomes for patients living with kidney failure who need a transplant.

There are usually two routes to living kidney donation – directed donation where a friend, relative or partner donates to a loved one, or non-directed altruistic donation which involves a person donating to a stranger who is best matched on the waiting list, usually starting a chain of transplants.

Jennie and Allan were re-united to mark World Kidney Day.

Jennie, who is a support worker, said: “When I set out on doing this, I deliberately didn’t want to know the person, because if at any point I’d changed my mind, then it would have been so much harder.

“ I chose to do this because I wanted to, not because I had to.

“I’ve had friends who have illnesses and I can’t do anything to help them. With kidneys, there is a way to fix it, so I just thought, why wouldn’t I?

“When I was being discharged, I asked about Allan and how he was doing. “Normally you can send letters via the donor co-ordinator, but as we were in the same hospital, she asked if we wanted to meet.

“Allan and his partner Coleen were there. They had a balloon and a card and gave me a hug and I started crying. I was a bit speechless meeting him, and seeing how close we were in age.”