A 43-YEAR-OLD transplant patient is looking forward to adopting his foster daughter of seven years – after being given a kidney by his sister.
Seriously-ill Steven Grattage and wife Tracy had always missed out on formal adoption because of concerns over his health.
But that can now change after Steven was given a kidney by his sister, Susan Howard, after six years on dialysis.
Now the former Royal Doulton worker is recovering at his Milton home following the operation at a Coventry hospital.
Steven, of Millrise Road, said: "This new kidney will change my life completely.
"We've come close to adopting nine-year-old Amy before, but there have always been concerns about my health.
"Amy will be our daughter eventually and we hope to adopt her now I've had the transplant.
"I want to get on with life and have the things that can be taken for granted like being a fun dad, going back to work and going on holiday."
One of Steven's kidneys first failed in 1990 when he was 22. He had six years of dialysis before undergoing his first kidney transplant.
But that kidney failed in 2005 and Steven has spent the past six years in and out of hospital undergoing four dialysis sessions a day.
He added: "My sister Julie first offered me a kidney, but she had to pull out because of ill health.
"Then Susan said she'd do it and she was a match for me. She has two children herself and she'd never had a major operation before.
"This is why people should carry donor cards.
"It's so important, but people don't realize how important it is and it's the last thing on their minds."
Before having the transplant, Steven needed pioneering treatment which involved washing his kidney clean of antibodies which had built up following so many blood transfusions.
Father-of-one Steven is also looking forward to being able to work again after the operation.
He added: "I don't mind what work I do. I'll clean the streets if I have to because after being at home for six years it'll be a nice change.
Wife Tracy, aged 44, who lost her job at Royal Doulton, said: "I think the adoption panel was unsure about us adopting, because if anything happened to Steven then they wouldn't know what would happen to Amy.
"Amy is brilliant. She understands the situation and realizes that he gets tired and we cannot always do things she'd like to.
"She's so excited and cannot wait for Steven to recover a bit more."
Sister Susan, aged 48, of Silverdale, said: "Steven had been that ill for so many years and it's good that I could donate.
"Everything went really well with the operation.
"I have a few tiny scars on my abdomen, but for Steven this is life-changing."
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