Power of the Press: 8-year-old offered kidney by Asian Express reader


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A family from Bradford were speechless after they received news that their child had been offered a life-changing organ donation by a ‘complete stranger’ after an appeal in the Asian Express newspaper.

Zayna Fatima Iqbal, and her mother, Najmah, had appealed for a kidney donor in the Asian Express

Zayna Fatima Iqbal, and her mother, Najmah, had appealed for a kidney donor in the Asian Express

Eight-year-old, Zayna Fatima Iqbal, suffers from a condition called Global Developmental Delay, and was first featured in the paper during a visit to Martin House Children’s Hospice.

Little Zayna and her family were receiving help and care from the hospice at the time, with the youngster waiting for a kidney transplant following renal failure.

Thankfully, after waiting six months on the transplant list, a match was found and Zayna received her new kidney at Leeds General Infirmary from a recently deceased organ donor.

Yet now, with Zayna recovering so well at home that she is beginning school this week, her mother, Najmah, explained how she was brought to tears once more, after the generosity of a ‘total stranger’.

“Recently we got a phone call from Martin House and a gentleman, who read the article in the Asian Express, about Zayna’s pre-transplant situation, had been so touched by it that he had actually offered Zayna one of his kidneys,” Najmah said.

“I was completely shocked, I didn’t think anybody could be that compassionate or kind and I just started crying.

“Of course he mustn’t have seen the latest article, saying Zayna’s had her transplant, but for someone who doesn’t even know Zayna to have such a big heart to pick up the phone and make that call, it really is touching.”

APPEAL: Najmah said she was ‘overwhelmed’ after Zayna received her kidney transplant and was ‘touched’ to hear another potential donor had come forward after reading about her family in the newspaper

APPEAL: Najmah said she was ‘overwhelmed’ after Zayna received her kidney transplant and was ‘touched’ to hear another potential donor had come forward after reading about her family in the newspaper

Najmah and her family have now written a thank you card to the anonymous donor and attached a picture of Zayna as she continues to recover on a daily basis.

The family are all living at their Bradford home again and Najmah urged other parents, whose children are in similar circumstances, to come forward and use the media as a way of appealing for help.

“When I hadn’t met you, I had read stories in the paper but something stopped me from getting in touch,” she added.

“I remem-ber the paper coming to Martin House to just feature the charity but thankfully I did actually build up the courage to say, ‘what can we lose to put this appeal out there?’.

“I urge others to try and not get down by their situation, be proactive and get in touch. What’s the worst that could happen?”

Not only has Zayna now begun growing again, but she has also got her energy levels back, which Najmah says have kept her up until the early hours of the morning. To have her ‘home and safe’ is the most important thing though, the mother-of-three stated, and thanked everybody for their support.

“Fortunately Bradford Continuing Care team have stepped in and have given me support over past months, by providing care one night a week and in the afternoons too,” she explained. “Their team is amazing and their support has been greatly appreciated.

“I would also like to thank family and friends for their prayers and support during these years.

“For those who were there for my family when I was in hospital for a month, I don’t know how we would have managed without you all.”

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