This is a good feel story about two women and a Doberman dog. It starts off, for me, with Lucy Humphrey, 44, who was looking for a kidney donor because her kidneys were failing as a result of suffering from lupus, an autoimmune disease. The required kidney donor would have to be a one in 22 million match in order for the transplant to be successful.
She was on a beach in South Wales one day when she was approached by a Doberman, Indie. Indie repeatedly approached her and in the words of Lucy Humphrey:
“I was just there for the day, and I was just sat enjoying the weather in my chair, and her [Katie James’s) dog kept coming up to me, coming back and forth, sniffing around me.”
As mentioned, Indie lives with Katie James and she was on the beach as well. Remarkably, Katie James had recently signed up to become a living kidney donor.
So, there they were, the three of them on the beach. One of them was James who was prepared to be a donor, the other was Humphrey who needed to find a donor as she needed a kidney transplant, and the go-between Indie.
Because of Indie’s activities, they got talking and Humphrey agreed to donate her kidney to James. Her doctor said that it was the hand of God but James said that it was more like “the hand of dog”.
That’s a really neat way to put it as you can see the word ‘dog’ is the word “god” backwards.
The meeting was particularly fortuitous because Humphrey had originally planned to take a trip to Aberystwyth a hundred miles away from her home but she became too unwell to travel that far and instead travelled to the Vale of Glamorgan.
Lupus had damaged her kidneys to the point where they were failing and a replacement was required.
It appears that Indie had selected a person to whom his caregiver could give one of her kidneys; a one in 22 million chance. I wonder whether this is true. Can a dog with their amazing sense of smell detect a failing kidney inside a person’s body? And can they understand that their owner is prepared to provide that kidney?
Perhaps the former is possible while the latter probably isn’t (but see the linked article at the base of this one). Perhaps Indie did smell something which indicated to him that Humphrey was ill. And that interested him. One thing led to another.
The kidney transplant was performed at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff in October last year. The procedure was a success despite some complications after the surgery.
Humphrey was told a few years back that she only had five years to live as dialysis does not work forever. She needed that transplant and had been on a waiting list for years. Her new kidney has transformed her life.