American flies in to donate kidney to his cousin
A MAN flew in from the United States to give his cousin a kidney at a Bristol hospital.
John Williamson had only met his cousin a couple of times but on Friday one of his kidneys was transplanted into 44-year-old Andy during surgery at Southmead Hospital.
The pair were friends on social networking website Facebook and John contacted Andy after he saw a post on the site about his cousin suffering kidney failure.
Andy Williamson, who used to live in Clifton Wood but has now moved to Devon, has polycystic kidney disease, which his mother also has.
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He first suffered kidney failure as a result of the disease in 2006 and received a kidney from a friend in 2007.
But last year the donated kidney stopped working and Andy had to go back on dialysis.
Andy, who is currently recovering in Southmead Hospital, described the four years since his original transplant as the best of his life and life-changing, because he married his wife Suzy and they had their daughter Doro, who will be three next month.
His cousin John, 42, lives in Michigan and grew up in America.
Andy said: "John explained to his colleagues that he didn't see this as a gift for me but a gift for my daughter to give her a younger, fitter-feeling dad, with the energy to play with her.
"It says a lot about him that he thought about that and he was up for doing it."
Consultant surgeon at Southmead Hospital, Najib Kadi, carried out the three-hour operation to remove John's kidney.
Mr Kadi said that the hospital carries out an average of one transplant where the donor has travelled from overseas every year.
John came to the Bristol hospital for a series of tests to see if he was eligible to donate his kidney before returning for the operation.