A PENKETH patient has been given the gift of life three times from his family after successful organ transplants from his mum, dad and sister.
Dad-of-one Andy Knox won the lottery in 1998 but two weeks later, aged just 25, he found he had renal failure and would need a kidney transplant.
The 42-year-old said: “In the space of two weeks I had gone from being on top of the world to being told that without dialysis, I had six months to live.
“Without a matching donor I faced life on dialysis.
“I was extremely fortunate because mum and dad had tests and were both matches for me.”
Mum Teresa, from Great Sankey, and her son went into theatre at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital together.
The operation was a success but over the next eight years he was admitted more than 50 times and in 2005 he took medical retirement from his job in the power industry.
He added: “You have to take a lot of drugs to stop your body rejecting the kidney but they suppress your immune system, which leaves you at risk of infection.
“It is a fine balancing act and I was just unlucky.
“In my eyes the transplant from my mum was still a success. I had my life back for eight years.”
With Teresa’s donor kidney failing, dad Freddie, aged 67, offered to step in and the kidney was effective for seven years until last year when Andy was back on dialysis and his 33-year-old sister Helen became the next family member to be a 100 per cent match.
Andy, who has a 15-year-old son, Bailey, had the operation with Helen three weeks ago and is now feeling much better.
He said: “It feels like I’ve been given four lives.
“Mum, dad and Helen have all put their own lives at risk to make my life more comfortable and I will be forever grateful for that.
“They can see that I am not taking it for granted by keeping myself fit and active.”
The tennis player beat the odds to captain the UK’s tennis team at the World Transplant Games in Australia and brought home two silver medals in 2009 and will be a co-ordinator at this year’s British Transplant Games in Bolton in August.
Doctors at the Liverpool hospital said they have never seen a case like Andy’s before.
Abdul Hammad, consultant transplant surgeon, added: “We perform around 100 kidney transplants every year at the hospital but Andrew is the first we have treated who has been fortunate enough to find three matches in his own family.”