In an absolutely jaw-dropping change of fortune, a Welshwoman with late-stage renal failure met a kidney donor on the beach who happened to be a perfect match.
44-year-old Lucy Humphrey from Caerphilly has lived her whole adult life with lupus, but it was in 2017 that she heard from her doctors that if she couldn’t find a new kidney in 5-year’s time, there was a chance she would die.
Requiring kidney dialysis, Humphrey and her partner Cenydd Owen had to cancel their campervan holiday, and so decided to drive it instead to the beach to have a barbeque.
While they were there, one of their two Dobermans, a big lug called Indie, kept running over to another camper to pester her while she was crocheting. By the third time, Owen went over to apologize.
There were no hard feelings between the camper, 40-year-old Katie James, and Indie, and in fact she was soon over at the barbeque chatting with Humphrey.
It was there James learned that Humphrey needed a kidney. She spoke up to mention that she had just joined the kidney donation register and offered to swap phone numbers.
“And to be honest I didn’t think anything else would come of it,” Humphrey remarked to the Daily Record.
However, blood tests later revealed the two campers were a perfect match, something which Humphrey described as a 1-in-22 million chance. The transplant took place in October of 2022, after which Humphrey needed 4 weeks to be discharged from the hospital due to James’ donated kidney not “waking up” fast enough.
After that, she could finally go on that campervan holiday, have a drink with dinner, and do many more activities besides.
“I’m so grateful for her… I told my partner in 2019 if I didn’t find a transplant within five years it was possible something would happen and I would die,” said Humphrey. “I want this to be a message to other people not to give up hope.”
James said when she first signed up she was told she wouldn’t receive any information on what her donated kidney would accomplish—whether it saved a life or not, or even who it went to.
Like this, she not only knows for sure it saved a woman’s life, but it created a lasting friendship—proof of which lies in the smartphones of James, Humphrey, and Owen, where WhatsApp messages bear the address “The Kidney Gang” from the group chat they created.