Read more: Woman donates kidney to her husband after they turn out to be 'one in 22 million' match
A husband has described his gratitude to his wife for "saving his life" after she donated one of her kidneys when the couple were found to be a 22 million-to-one match.
Donna Creed, 49, a hotel manager, from Leicester gave Darren, 51, a chef lecturer, "the greatest gift" after he'd spent more than a decade suffering with polycystic kidney disease.
Having been told last August he was unlikely to survive unless he underwent the life-saving operation, friends and family volunteered to be tested.
But it was Darren's wife Donna, who was first to be tested, who turned out to be a suitable donor.
The family say they were told the odds of a spouse being a match were an incredible one in 22 million and they actually had more chance of winning the lottery.
The couple, who have been together for 33 years, are now recovering after undergoing the transplant last month but say it has already transformed their lives.
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"I can't put into words how thankful I am," Darren says of his wife. "It is the best gift she could ever give me. She's given me the gift of life."
Darren was initially diagnosed with the renal condition over a decade ago, but last year his kidney function fell to just 19%, leaving him with severe exhaustion.
He was told he could face long-term dialysis unless a donor could be found for a transplant operation.
"About 12 years ago we had a personal trainer come in to work which I signed up for," he explains.
"But when they did tests to check if you can be part of the programme they found my blood pressure was high so I went to my GP for further checks.
"They called me back for the test results on the day we were going away on holiday and they told me I had polycystic kidney disease.
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"The bags were literally packed so we went away for the weekend and it was only when we researched it we thought 'Jesus, this is quite serious'.
"I was put on a drug which slowed down the progress of the disease, but in August last year my liver function dropped and they [doctors] said I would need a donor."
Initially Darren says he wasn't hopeful as he believed the odds were stacked against him.
"We asked family and friends and lots of people volunteered to be tested," he says.
"But the first person who was tested was Donna and incredibly it was first time lucky as she turned out to be a match."
On the day Darren was due to have the transplant his blood pressure spiked and he had to undergo dialysis for the first time.
"Up until then I had only suffered with severe exhaustion and I was hoping to avoid it, but it was necessary to get me ready for the transplant," he explains.
Though he's still recovering from the transplant, Darren says he can already feel the difference.
"Even as I woke up from the operation the kidney was already working. It's incredible really."
"It has not only transformed my life, but the entire family - we can now enjoy doing more things together.
"I can't say thanks enough to Donna, she has saved my life."
Donna says she believes the organ transplant, which was carried out at at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital, is "the greatest gift" she could give to a loved one.
"We genuinely didn't think I was going to be a match because the chances are so slim but every test we had came back looking like it was matching," she explains.
"We couldn't believe it."
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Following the procedure Donna says Darren "woke up a new person".
"He was so well," she says. "It was like getting my husband back from 25 years ago. He was laughing and joking where he had been so tired before.
"His condition was having a real impact, we couldn't do any thing like socialise. Even holding a conversation was a challenge.
"Now the difference is incredible."
Donna hopes that by sharing their story it could help others consider organ donation.
"It is great to be able to do this for your husband, a member of your family or even total stranger," she says.
"For just a week of discomfort it is such a gift to give."
Additional reporting SWNS.