Organ Donation Week: British Sikh boy among 200 kids in need of transplant

Organ Donation Week: British Sikh boy among 200 kids in need of transplant

Harvey Kang, a two-year-old British Sikh boy from Coventry, was diagnosed at birth with the kidney condition Posterior Urethal Valves and has stage five chronic kidney disease, which has resulted in kidney failure.

Harvey is one of estimated 200 children currently predicted to be in need of a transplant across the UK during the ongoing Organ Donation Week (September 20-26). Due to Harvey’s South Asian heritage, it is most likely that a suitable match will come from a donor of the same background. However, there remains an imbalance between the numbers of South Asian people donating and those patients in need of a lifesaving transplant, meaning Harvey’s wait for a transplant could be longer.

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Harvey’s mum, Karen, looks after him full time and has tested to become a living donor. She was identified as a match to donate a kidney to Harvey, however sadly due to a chronic health condition Karen is unable to donate. Karen, 32, hopes by sharing Harvey’s story she will raise awareness of discussing the importance of organ donation amongst South Asian communities.

She said: “It is heartbreaking that I cannot donate to Harvey, as a mum you would do anything for your child, so it was really hard to find out that my own health meant it wouldn’t be possible.

“We hope that by sharing our story, it will make more people think and talk about organ donation, and perhaps make the difference between a person or family saying ‘yes’ rather than ‘no’ if they find themselves in that situation. We’ve been told we could be waiting two years but keeping everything crossed it will be sooner.”

Harvey has already spent half of his life in and out of hospital but remains determined to still lead a normal childhood and has just learnt how to crawl. Harvey needs a kidney transplant and is due to start dialysis soon. Harvey is tube-fed as due to his kidney condition he is unable to eat solids.

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His mum adds: “Despite everything, Harvey is a happy, smiley, little boy. He doesn’t look as unwell as he is. He will laugh at anything and he gets across what he is trying to say. He tries to do as much as he can and gets frustrated, he wants to do more.

“My dream is to take him to the park, I want to see him run around in the park and go on the slide and go down himself. A transplant would enable him to have the life a toddler should be having.”

After a most challenging year for the National Health Service (NHS) and people across the world, waiting lists for organs including kidney, heart, liver, lungs are expected to rise and NHS Blood and Transplant is calling for more families to talk and share their organ donation decision to increase the chances of the many children, young people and adults in need of their own life-saving call.

NHS Blood and Transplant, which provides organ donation service for the UK, message for Organ Donation Week is that it is quick and easy to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.

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