ANDY’S KIDNEY TRANSPLANT MARKS A NEW CHAPTER
Cole, whose professional football career spanned 20 years, fell ill after a trip overseas where he contracted a viral infection. Doctors believe this caused further damage to an underlying silent kidney problem. Back in the UK, routine tests ended with a 12-day emergency stay in hospital, where he was placed on dialysis.
Then came the devastating news that he needed a transplant.
He received a kidney from his nephew in 2017, and says that, although his health is vastly improved, a transplant is not the end of the story for most people.
“Transplant is not a cure,” he said.
“If it works, it gives a part of your life back and keeps you ticking over. But it’s a lot tougher than everyone makes out. We don’t really talk about kidneys because nobody understands them. But when they go wrong, it can be fatal.”
Transplanted kidneys only last, on average, 10 to 15 years. Kidney Research UK wants to transform transplants so a kidney transplant doesn’t have a time limit, but can last for life. The Andy Cole Fund will support this ambition.