Derbyshire Police Federation

Men’s Health Week: Officer shares story of donating kidney

16 June 2023

Police Federation National Board member Leigh Godfrey has marked Men’s Health Week by talking about the time he donated a kidney.

The South Wales officer and Post Incident Procedures Lead helped to save his dad’s life by donating the vital organ a decade ago.

He explained in a blog: “Due to health issues centred around diabetes, my father had renal failure and needed an urgent kidney transplant. I never expected my brother or sister to donate – they have children, and I didn’t – so for me it was a no brainer! Naturally though, they also insisted on being tested for compatibility.”

Leigh was assessed to ensure there was no undue pressure on him to donate and he was given a thorough health screening. After being cleared to donate a kidney, Leigh had to discuss the situation with his divisional commander.

“I asked if I would be supported as technically, as I was electing to be sick. She looked incredulous that I was even seeking permission and made it clear in no uncertain terms that she would support me in whatever I needed,” he said.

Leigh underwent the operation and despite some pain and discomfort when he woke up, his overriding memory was the “anxious wait” to hear if the transplant was a success. Thankfully it was and the kidney is still working well 10 years later.

Mens Health Week runs from 13-19 June and the theme this year is to highlight the importance of taking stock of your overall health, including checking for serious health conditions.

Tony Wetton, chair of Derbyshire Federation, said: “You can’t help but be moved by Leigh’s bravery in being willing to donate his kidney to save his dad’s life – I’m so pleased that everything was okay in the end.

“As police officers, we’re used to putting others first, but I’d really like to encourage our members to take a moment this Men’s Health Week to think about their own health and colleagues, and don’t be afraid to speak up and seek medical advice if there is anything you are worried about. It really is better safe than sorry.”

Read more of Leigh's story

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