Proving there isn’t anything a father won’t do for his little girl, this dad has just donated a kidney to save his three-year-old daughter’s life.
Little Esme Chester was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure after having a blood test to work out why she just couldn’t shake a persistent cough in June last year.
Her parents Lee Chester and Rachel Mulhearn could only watch on helplessly as their bubbly little girl endured dialysis 12 hours a day, seven days a week for 14 months.
Desperate to give Esme a fighting chance, both were tested for organ donation.
“We were both tested and although Rachel was a match, I was a better match. I said yes immediately,” Lee tells the Manchester Evening News.
But in December, as the family were preparing to take Esme on a dream holiday to Florida, the toddler was dealt another devastating blow when she suffered a stroke.
Esme spent six weeks in intensive care and had to learn to walk and eat again. She even spent her third birthday in hospital and her transplant surgery was put on hold until this month.
Despite all of this, Lee says his strong-willed daughter remained positive.
“She knows her own mind, she’s very funny, caring and she says she loves us all the time. But she also has a strength from all this,” he says.
After the surgery, Rachel made her pride for her husband and daughter known on Facebook.
“He has given our daughter more than a gift, a chance at a better, healthier, happier life and we will teach her to realise anything really is possible,” Rachel wrote.
Lee says both he and Esme are doing well.
“This is something that any parent would do, you just say yes, it’s in the terms,” he says.
He says the family’s ordeal highlights the importance of organ donation – “It really does save lives.”
To register to become an organ donor in Australia go to Donatelife.