Brave Leeds mum’s gift of life to daughter

Amanda Juniper with daughter Ruby. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Amanda Juniper with daughter Ruby. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Share this article
Have your say

A MUM is to give her five-year-old daughter the best present ever – a kidney transplant which will transform her life.

Ruby Juniper’s kidneys are failing and she now needs dialysis three times a week.

Now her mum Amanda has been accepted as a living donor for her little girl, who surprised her with an adorable note saying she “hoped she got her new kidney soon”.

Amanda said: “It’s the most fantastic news a mother could ever wish for. I’m not scared, I just can’t wait for Ruby to get this transplant.”

The youngster has already told her mum, and dad Alan, that all she wants to do when she gets her new kidney is eat chocolate – which is severely rationed due to the special diet she is on because of her illness.

Ruby, from Lower Wortley, Leeds, was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome in 2010 after her mum noticed she looked puffy.

The kidney condition causes protein from the blood to leak into urine, with fluid retention the main symptom. “I’d never heard of it before as it’s quite rare,” Amanda said. “There are treatments but steroids didn’t work and that meant we had to go into hospital every weekend to have the fluid taken off her.”

Various medications didn’t work and now the condition has caused her kidneys to fail. Since last September she has been on dialysis, with the Lower Wortley Primary School pupil at Leeds General Infirmary three times a week for the gruelling treatment as only 10 per cent of her kidneys are functioning.

“They take fluid off during dialysis and it can be quite painful,” said Amanda, an office manager.

“But she’s a little fighter, she’s done really well so far. She never complains.”

When doctors said a transplant was the next step, both Ruby’s parents were tested and after months of scans, Amanda was told she was a good match.

“It’s such a relief,” she said. “With a living donor, the kidney is likely to last 20 or 25 years. I’m not scared for myself, I’m scared for Ruby but we are being positive.” The surgery should take place in a few months and the youngster is looking forward to eating the treats which are currently restricted.

“She said ‘when I get my new kidney, can I have some crisps and chocolate?’. That’s all she wants.”

Amanda and colleagues at 4it Recruitment in Horsforth and raised £5,000 by doing the Skipton Triathlon earlier this year. The proceeds will go towards the children’s renal ward where Ruby is treated and Manorlands Hospice in Oxenhope.

Donate via /team/ 4itXremeTeamTriathlon2014

The match was stopped for about 30 minutes while the helicopter landed and took the supporter to hospital.

Air Ambulance lands on pitch during match after supporter falls ill