Dying Slowly Man Forced To Choose Kidney Failure Or Take HIV-Infected Organ

A man has been forced to choose between kidney failure or risk taking HIV-infected donor organ.

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A man rushed to hospital for a kidney transplant has spoken of his dilemma - after he learned the donor organ could be infected with HIV.

Tony Gartside had waited four years for a donor organ and got the call to say that a kidney and pancreas had become available at 3am.

He was then rushed from his home in Plymouth, Devon to Oxford for the operation.

But when he arrived he was told that the organs had come from the victim of a drugs overdose - and it would be two weeks before they knew if the organs were HIV free.

Tony, 40, was born with type 1 diabetes, and his kidneys began to fail by the time he was 32, but he had to wait four years until a kidney became available.

But he was faced with a dilemma when one became available - carry on living with his dying kidney, or risk becoming infected with HIV. He has spoken out as part of World Kidney Day.

Tony said: "They showed me into a room and told me the donor organs had come from a death by drug overdose and asked if I still wanted to go ahead.

"Because the person died by drug overdose they wouldn't know whether the donor had HIV for two weeks.

"It was a scary process having to say yes or no after sitting in the back of an ambulance for hours.

"Do I risk it and say yes, or do I say no and wait another 18 months, or even longer. I went ahead with it."

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