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Ilkay Husseyin donates kidney to save son Aidan after he was struck down by a terrible disease
IT IS one of the greatest gifts a father can give his son.
Ilkay Husseyin has always shared an unbreakable bond after seeing his first born come into the world.
So when a devastating disease struck son Aidan Husseyin-Sheikh he immediately agreed to make a huge sacrifice.
Ilkay Husseyin (left) with son Aidan and consultant surgeon Sam Datta
Now – on the eve of Father’s Day – Aidan has paid a moving tribute to his dad for sharing the gift of life for the second time.
And the young man – now a father himself – is urging others to follow in his footsteps to save their loved ones.
Today both men are recovering from life-changing surgery after Ilkay donated one of his kidneys for a vital organ transplant.
Aidan, 23, was awaiting the birth of his daughter Reilly, one, when he was diagnosed with severe renal failure.
The symptoms – fatigue, heart palpitations and swollen legs – began four years ago shortly before he began studying for a photography degree at Winchester School of Art.
His GP initially put it down to suspected heart problems.
But a year later he had more concerns and his girlfriend Abi, 22, encouraged him to return to the doctors for a check-up.
The diagnosis was later confirmed after urine tests and a biopsy.
Experts suspected the damage was caused by a severe ear infection he suffered from five years previously from suspected E-Coli from a swimming pool while holidaying in Turkey.
Doctors warned him 18-months ago that it was so advanced he would need kidney dialysis unless a transplant donor was found within a year.
The blow came when Abi was eight months pregnant and he was finishing his finals.
Aidan said: “I was gutted because when you are expecting to be a dad it’s the last thing that you want to hear.
“I had a lot on my plate at the time but I had to be strong.
“If I didn’t have Reilly, I don’t know what I would have done.”
Ilkay, 46, who lives in Oakwood, north London, was one of the first to volunteer as a donor.
He was a successful match along with one of Aidan’s cousins.
But they chose Ilkay rather than the younger man to ensure there is a back-up donor in case Aidan needs a future transplant at a time when his dad may have been too elderly to undergo the operation.
Surgeons carried out the procedure at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth following consultations with kidney specialist surgeon Sam Dutta.
Both men are making a good recovery – with Aidan, who lives on the edge of the New Forest, returning to his pastime of running.
He starts a graduate job in a digital print company in September.
Hailing his father’s selfless actions, he said: “I will never forget that he has sacrificed a part of his body to keep me alive.
“There is a sense of intimacy involved in it and it’s something to celebrate for the rest of our lives “He has given me life twice and I totally owe it to him.”
He has yet to make plans for Father’s Day, but said: “It’s ironic that the transplant falls close to that date.
“It will remind us every year of the operation.
“Being a father myself I understand the love and sacrifice.”
He said the new organ has greatly boosted his life and urged other donors to make the sacrifice, adding: “Before, it felt like my life was on standby.
“But now it feels like a switch has been turned on and my energy levels are up.
“Donating can really help someone in need.”
Ilkay, an IT worker who has three other children, added: “People have told me it is such a big thing to do, but for me it is the natural reaction to help your child.
“The doctors are the real heroes because without them we would not be able to carry out the operation.
“I have always said I would give my left arm to help my son and in the end I ended up giving my left kidney!”
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