Diet & Nutrition

The incredible kidney transplant story 'you couldn't make up'

Veteran ABC journalist Mark Colvin is known for his storytelling and eye for a good yarn, and even he says the tale of his kidney transplant is something "you wouldn't read about".
In late 2011, the radio journalist had been on dialysis for some time and was told a kidney transplant was just about the only thing that could save him.
He received a donation from a friend, whose identity was revealed on 7.30 last night.
Mary-Ellen Field was famously sacked by Elle Macpherson for allegedly revealing information about the Aussie supermodel, but later it was revealed she had actually had her phone hacked by journalists at Britain's News of the World newspaper.
When Colvin contacted her for an interview via Twitter following the 2011 revelation, he ended up getting a whole lot more out of the relationship.
After continuing to email each other — "like penpals" Colvin told 7.30 — the two formed a special bond and when they finally met while Ms Field was on holiday in Australia, she was seized by a desire to help.
"I really can't explain it," she said.
"I didn't want him to die."
Luckily, as with the "real bond" the two had formed as friends, they were an uncanny match for a transplant.
"It seemed too far-fetched almost. It seemed incredible," Colvin said.
"It's a huge thing to ask somebody to go through even if they're offering."
The pair went through with the successful transplant that saved Mark's life in March this year, an act Ms Field considered one of the most important things she's done in her life alongside marrying her husband and having her children.
"How often do you get to save a life?" she says.
"I think I owe her a debt of gratitude for the rest of my life," Mark said.
"What else can I say? I'd give her anything."
Ms Field's identity as the donor was unknown to the public up until now, but the pair wanted to tell their story to show how straight forward an organ donation can be and how wonderful it was to both parties.
They both hope more people will come forward and become donors.

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