Why I broke promise…
I had the chance to save my other half’s life, but then I changed my mind
Throwing my hands in the air, I stomped my feet to the sounds of a heavy-metal band.
It was April 2013 and I was at a Goth weekend festival.
As I spun round, I bumped into a man in a top hat and suit, dark make-up on his eyes, purple lips.
‘Hello!’ I said, as we began dancing together. ‘I’m Jay,’ he grinned. Outgoing, gorgeous, he ticked every box.
For the rest of the weekend, we got close.
I told him about my boys, 11 and 8.
He confided in me about his past, his divorce.
Even though we lived 150 miles apart, it didn’t stop us seeing each other.
Back and forth every few weeks, I fell for Jay.
Three months in, I noticed a scar across his stomach.
‘Shark bite,’ he laughed, when I asked. ‘Really?’ I exclaimed. Then he told me the true story...
Childhood illness had scarred his kidneys, and he went into renal failure at 17.
After five years on dialysis, a transplant saved his life.
But in 2004, his kidney failed again.
A relative stepped in, donating one of theirs. ‘Incredible!’ I gasped. Now Jay was in good health, training to be a teacher.
Few months later, Jay moved in with me.
Throwing him a welcome party p t at t th the l local pub, I was so happy we were together. Our future ahead of us... But in April 2017, Jay didn’t seem himself. Kept snapping, starting arguments. ‘You OK?’ I asked. ‘Just tired,’ he groaned. ‘Bit moody I suppose.’ He said he’d had headaches. Then he realised he’d felt like this before... ‘I know what it is,’ he said. Doctors confirmed that Jay was in renal failure, needed another transplant. ‘I’ll do it,’ I blurted out. The words fell out of my mouth before I’d even thought about it.
Jay was silent, then mumbled, ‘Thanks.’ I reckoned he was in shock. There was only a one-in-
100,000 chance I’d be a match.
I went back and forth to the hospital, had test after test.
Finally, after six months, we had word... ‘You’re a match,’ a doctor said. Neither of us could believe it. I was more determined than ever to help the man I loved.
But despite my commitment, I felt Jay was growing distant.
When he wasn’t at work, he slept or went to another room.
Then he started to have an allergic reaction to the dialysis.
He had to quit work and spent days in hospital or lying on the sofa.
If I tried to comfort him, he pushed me away.
I was losing Jay to his illness in every way, and I was feeling neglected.
Our jokey banter turned into endless arguments. Both of us were miserable. ‘I’m leaving,’ Jay said in May this year.
We both knew it was the right thing. Our love had turned sour and we were both to blame for the explosive rows.
Still, I was determined to still go ahead with the transplant. We’d got this far. But Jay had other ideas. ‘I don’t want your kidney,’ he said, days before we were due to travel to hospital for a pre-op assessment.
It was a shock but, deep down, I knew he was right.
‘I don’t think I can give you my kidney after everything that’s happened,’ I said sadly.
I lay awake at night, thinking what pulling out meant for Jay.
I’d been his only hope...
We eventually agreed, together, to cancel the transplant. Then Jay moved out. Agreeing to be friends, we’ve kept in touch. A part of me will always care for him.
And I hope with all my heart he finds another match.
After giving him five years of my life, a kidney was the one thing I just couldn’t give Jay.
Still friends, a part of me will always care for him...