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Give Tyshan a chance of a normal life – mother’s plea for kidney donor

PUBLISHED: 12:06 17 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:06 17 February 2020

Tyshan, 13, with mum Charlotte Ritchie, in his bedroom with his dialysis machine and supplies next to the bed. Picture: Polly Hancock

Tyshan, 13, with mum Charlotte Ritchie, in his bedroom with his dialysis machine and supplies next to the bed. Picture: Polly Hancock

Picture: Polly Hancock

A mother is appealing for a kidney donor to give her son the gift of a normal life, just in time for his 14th birthday.

From left: Taviarna, five, Tyshan, and mum Charlotte Ritchie. Picture: Polly HancockFrom left: Taviarna, five, Tyshan, and mum Charlotte Ritchie. Picture: Polly Hancock

Tyshan Ritchie, who attends Stormont House in Downs Park Road, was born with just one kidney, and must undergo dialysis every two days in order to survive.

His mother, Charlotte, is making the appeal as a last resort. She and Tyshan's grandmother are not compatible donor matches, and he cannot go on the national organ donation waiting list, because he would need specialist urology and bowel surgeons present, meaning the operation would need to be planned, due to his other health complications.

Charlotte of Casimir Road, Lower Clapton, told the Gazette: "It's a massive ask and it took a lot for me to go public. I had a lot of talks with my transplant coordinator, and they said: 'This is your only option and you are going to have to go for it.'

"I would be forever grateful if someone could give Tyshan the chance to have a normal life."

Tyshan. Picture: Charlotte RitchieTyshan. Picture: Charlotte Ritchie

When Tyshan's one kidney stopped working when he was six-years-old, his father donated one of his own. But within 11 months Tyshan's body rejected the kidney and he developed sepsis.

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Charlotte learned at Great Ormond Street how to carry out home dialysis to give him as normal a life as possible - but he still spends 25 hours a week hooked up to the machine.

Charlotte said: "When you are on dialysis for a long period it can really weaken your heart, and we've decided it's a good time now to try again.

Tyshan, 13, in his bedroom with his dialysis machine and supplies next to the bed. Picture: Polly HancockTyshan, 13, in his bedroom with his dialysis machine and supplies next to the bed. Picture: Polly Hancock

"Where he has autism he likes routines, so every other day he is on the machine for five hours and the structure of it works great for him.

"But it's very restrictive and if he becomes unwell or if he has a problem like high fluids or high blood pressure, he can't comprehend.

"He's at that age where he just wants to be as normal as he can be. He's a teenage boy and he likes to go to the park, play on his scooter, or play with his sister."

Healthy people who donate

To register an interest in donating a kidney to Tyshan, email anita.copley@gstt.nhs.uk

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