'Let me die to save my son'

PUBLISHED: 08:00 20 May 2014

Henry Harrison and son Ollie.

Henry Harrison and son Ollie.

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A DEVASTATED Worle dad is pleading with doctors to let him give up his own life to save his son, who urgently needs a kidney transplant.

Ollie Harrison’s kidneys are failing and his ‘hero’ dad Henry was the first to raise his hand and offer one of his organs to help him become healthy again.

The 58-year-old’s offer was rejected by Southmead Hospital, even though he is a perfect match, because he has kidney stones and medics say the long-term risks to his own health would be too great.

But Henry says he would be willing to die to save his son and feels ‘useless’ because he cannot help his child.

He said: “I have had a life, my son hasn’t. If I could save my son by forfeiting my own life I would - it is what any father would do for his children.”

Seven years ago Ollie, aged 23, who lives in Pine Hill with his dad, was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease, which affects one in 1,500 people. He is now on dialysis.

His kidneys are functioning at just six per cent and Ollie, who now weighs six stone, is waiting for an organ to come through.

Henry said: “The doctors said it doesn’t matter what I do or say, they will not take a kidney from me.”

One of Henry’s kidneys produces the stones on a regular basis and doctors have refused to take away his good organ - a decision which left the committed dad heartbroken.

He said: “I was devastated and so was Ollie.”

“I’m more devastated because I cannot do anything. It is so frustrating watching your son dwindle away.

“I feel so useless. If you can’t help your own son or daughter it’s dreadful and I can’t explain the emptiness.

“It’s just so difficult to comprehend that I have got someone that I love and I can’t help.

“We have been told Ollie could wait for three years to get a kidney, and doctors have known others to wait 20 years. He is not the strongest of people and it is imperative for him to get one as soon as possible.”

Ollie, a former Weston College student, said they are now reaching out to other family members for help.

He said: “I’m not bad, I’m just surviving.

“I was a bit upset and annoyed when we were told dad could not donate as he is a match. We found it confusing and a bit of a downfall.

“Now we are looking elsewhere. The process is frustrating but I have dad here for support.

“If people are thinking of becoming donors try and do it because you will be saving lives.

“My dad is a hero, we are very close. And even though my mum is having an operation, as soon as she has had that done in July she is going to get tested.”

A spokesman from North Bristol NHS Trust said: “Anyone who puts themselves forward to donate a kidney must fulfil strict criteria.

“If anyone is turned down it will be for genuine clinical reasons in order to ensure the donor’s long-term health is not affected.

“We’d like to wish Ollie all the best in terms of finding a match in the very near future.”

Henry added: “It’s imperative for people not to be blasé about life because it could happen to anybody at any time. There needs to be more donors.

“When I go up to the hospital I see people on the dialysis machines, just ordinary people young and old, all waiting year after year for someone to donate a kidney.

“It brings home to me as a parent how fragile life is for all of us and how much we take for granted until something like this happens to your own family.

“My plea to everyone is please think very carefully about whether you could carry a donor card around, either now or in the future.

“Many people like my son are in desperate need of help so they can have some sort of normal life.”

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