UK & World News
Baby Kidney Donor Is Britain's Youngest
A five-week-old baby is a lifesaver after becoming Britain's youngest ever organ donor.
The infant's tiny kidneys were donated to 22-year-old Samira Kauser and transplanted during a seven-hour operation at St James's University Hospital in Leeds.
The organs were just 4cm long but will grow to up to three-quarters the size of a normal adult's.
Together with the liver, heart and lungs, a baby's kidneys are fully functioning after 37 weeks in the womb.
Ms Kauser, from Halifax, who was spending nine hours a night on dialysis after a genetic condition caused her kidneys to fail, told The Sunday Times she plans to get married next year.
"When I found out (the donor) was a child who had died, I felt so sad," she said.
"I thought about the parents and how much they wanted to donate and I knew I had to have the operation, even though I was scared."
She added: "Words cannot express the gratitude I feel to the parents of this baby.
"They have lost so much - much more than I can ever comprehend.
"Their only solace is that someone else has been able to carry on with their life. It's a massive gift."
The Sunday Times said the transplant had reignited the debate about whether organs from so-called "beating heart" babies, who are being kept alive on ventilators but are certified as brain dead, should be made available to patients on the donor waiting list.
It said a decision on the issue is expected within the next six months.
Transplant surgeon Niaz Ahmad, who led the team that carried out the transplant, told the newspaper: "There is such an acute shortage of organs that we're now prepared to do this.
"This case, I hope, shows that it can work."
Around 19.7 million people are on the NHS organ donor register.
More than 7,200 people are waiting for a transplant - 6,000 of whom need a new kidney.
Some 2,820 kidney transplants were carried out last year.