The fiancée of a man with type 1 diabetes has shared their traumatic but inspiring story in a bid to encourage more organ donors.
Two years previously, Wayne Simon’s kidneys began to fail, leading to a deterioration in his health and the development of sepsis and pneumonia, with doctors at one point fearing the worst for the 39-year-old.
Thanks to a double kidney and pancreas transplant, at Manchester Royal Infirmary, he is now healthy and looking forward to marrying the love of his life.
Speaking to The Sun, Wayne’s 35-year-old fiancée Danielle Carlton said: “Wayne needed a double kidney and pancreas transplant and we were told he would die without it. We had always planned to get married, but his illness really made us appreciate each other. It’s so important to us both to have our love sealed officially.”
The couple met in July 2014 in a pub. They live in Blackpool, Lancashire, and both have two children each from previous relationships.
Danielle added: “It was love from the start. Wayne told me he’d had type 1 diabetes since he was a little boy and he had a very strict lifestyle. He didn’t drink and he was very focused on sport. He had even worked with the boxer Anthony Joshua. He was really healthy and sporty and I really didn’t think he could be seriously ill. He looked so well.”
Two years after they met, Wayne popped the question, but they decided to put the wedding on hold when Danielle became pregnant in early 2017. However, it was at this point that Wayne’s kidney problems began. His mother had donated one kidney in 2012 but this time he was told he needed a double kidney and pancreas transplant.
He then went on to develop sepsis and pneumonia. Danielle added: “We were told he would die without a double transplant. He wanted to delay the dialysis because it is so horrible, but a doctor told him he could choose: dialysis or a priest for the last rites. It was a huge wake-up call.”
During dialysis, he had to come off the transplant list frequently because he became so poorly. Then Reggie, the couple’s son, was born in August 2017 and, less than a year later, Wayne finally got news about a transplant.
Wayne said: “This journey we’ve been on has made me realise just how important life is, and I’m eternally grateful to have been given another chance.”
He continued: “Without the organ donor I wouldn’t be here to live the rest of my life with my family and children.
“I’d never see my children grow up and I’d not have the chance to marry my one true love. All I hope for now is a happy and healthy future.
“I suppose you don’t realise how important signing up to the organ donor register is until you or somebody you love is on death’s door.”
Wayne was discharged from the hospital, once again in good health, following the successful transplantations. He and Danielle will tie the knot in Turkey in April, with the support of family and their friends.