MP Khalid Mahmood has revealed who donated a kidney to him three years ago and says it was "a phenomenal thing to do" and you can never repay anyone who becomes a living organ donor.
Mahmood, the MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure in 2008 and was spending four hours a day on dialysis, until his friend, MEP Sion Simon, donated a kidney to him in 2014. Mahmood had not revealed who the living donor was until now.
Mahmood told Julia Hartley-Brewer that "to be able to do that I think is a huge sacrifice on his behalf. He says it’s nothing but I think it’s a phenomenal thing to do even for a good friend."
When Simon first suggested he became a donor Mahmood said he thought "we were very good friends and that’s just really going beyond any friendship, and I said 'yeah thanks' and I didn't really push it."
However Simon did push for the transplant to go ahead and now Mahmood says he's "back to my normal self, probably a bit better than I was before!"
Mahmood added: "You can’t repay anybody who does that and I think it’s that sort of act of kindness that somebody does, you can never repay that."
Simon also said the he decided to become a donor because "I just realised, kind of in a moment of clarity, that actually the way it was looking he wasn’t going to get a transplant from anybody" and "I realised that this is only going to get done if I do it myself."
He explained that the pair hadn't revealed he was the donor previously because "I just didn’t want a big fuss about it and, as I said in retrospect, as the years have gone by I’ve felt 'well really we ought to talk about it just in order to encourage other people to do it.'"
The MEP also said "these days almost anybody can match a kidney to almost anybody else" and "I’m exactly as I was before except that i now get annual checkups from the hospital."
Listen to the full interview above