Why I broke prom­ise…

I had the chance to save my other half’s life, but then I changed my mind

Chat - - Contents - Melanie Wood, 45

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...

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