Mar 11, 2014 20:00 By James Cartledge
A student whose life was saved by a Birmingham surgeon was reunited with the medic during a new mercy mission.
Felix Yeboah was just 14 when he was flown to Britain from his native Ghana for a kidney transplant performed by Andrew Ready.
The consultant renal transplant surgeon was moved to help by the youngster’s speech at the launch of the African nation’s National Kidney Foundation in 2008.
The operation, at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, was a success and Felix and Mr Ready were reunited as the youngster prepared to celebrate his 21st birthday tomorrow.
Felix, who is now studying chemistry at university, said: “I thank everyone at the hospital for what they have done for me and saving my life. I am so very grateful I can live a normal life again.”
Felix’s life was at risk because his home country did not have dialysis machines. His flight to Birmingham was sponsored by the Transplant Links charity, co-founded by Mr Ready in 2006.
A kidney was donated by the then-teenager’s father Michael and the seven-hour procedure went so well that Felix was back at school within six months.
Mr Ready has just returned from Ghana after a new Transplant Links visit to the West African country, where he and his team performed two transplants.
Recalling the first time he met Felix, he said: “Felix emerged from the crowd and came up to the podium to speak.
“He was so small he had to be held up to be seen.
Kidney transplant boy Felix Yeboah
“We were so taken by Felix’s speech that we thought we must try to do something.
“We know that he would have died very soon after we met him if we had not done the operation.
“He has successfully reached the next stage in his life and is very happy and doing well. It was very powerful for us to see his wonderful progress.”
Felix’s birthday coincides with tomorrow’s World Kidney Day. More information about Transplant Links is available at www.transplantlinks.org