St George’s Patient - Villy Nielsen - reaches 50 year anniversary of his kidney transplant

October 2 2019
A pensioner who was told he wouldn’t make it past his 21st birthday is still alive 50 years after his kidney transplant. St George's patient, Villy Nielsen, 72, underwent surgery in September 1969 after receiving the gift of life from his sister, Karen, 69. He is now one of the longest surviving kidney transplant patients in the world.

Read Villy's full story here: https://metro.co.uk/2019/09/23/kidney-transplant-patient-still-alive-50-years-sister-saved-life-10793373/

Villy was told he would not live beyond his 21st birthday. His sister Karen  (pictured below) was 19 at the time she donated her kidney to Villy.

Villy had his operation in his native Denmark but has been a patient at St George's for 25 years since the beginning of the hospital's renal transplant programme. Read about St George's 25th anniversay here: https://www.sgkpa.org.uk/news/25th-anniversary-of-transplantation-at-st-georges

Dr Joyce Popoola, consultant nephrologist and lead transplant physician at St George’s, said: ‘The average lifespan of a kidney transplant from a deceased donor is 11-14 years, and 20-24 from a live donor. ‘So for Villy to have reached 50 years with his transplanted kidney is a fantastic milestone. ‘His story showcases the importance of organ donation and the incredible impact it has on lives.’

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