Category Archives: Blogroll

Organs at the Edinburgh Festival

The Organ Grinders at Ghillie Dhu

Andy Williamson is a talented jazz saxophonist who has played at the Edinburgh Festival many times in the past.  But he also has PKD, and has a kidney transplant donated  3 years ago by his friend and keyboard player Maff Potts (actually, Maff plays the (Hammond) organ).  They did a fantastic show in a smart converted church, starting at 11pm, and the only problem was that I had to do a clinic next morning.  Thanks to Thursday 12th’s patients for being understanding.  Andy was puzzled that their biggest hit was ‘Toxic‘ (Britney Spears) in the style of Johnny Cash, but I thought their Stormy Monday, and the Russian song on the tables, were great.

The organ at St Cecilia's Hall

No holiday this summer so have caught a lot of great things at the Fringe, but because the music at St Cecilia’s Hall was so beautiful it’s nice to find an excuse to put in another organ.


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Living donors, wonderful people

Blogging kidney by Beth Shortt

The Human Tissue Authority recently approved the 3,000th living transplant in three years – most of these were kidney donors.   Living related transplants form an increasingly important proportion of all kidney transplants.

Remarkably, a growing number of these are coming from ordinary people who have no relationship to the recipient of their kidney – ‘altruistic donors’.  It seems to be getting easier to do this, but saying that you’re going to give one of your kidneys to an unknown stranger does seem to upset some people, even friends and family.

Altruistic kidney donation only became legal in the UK in 2008; 15 were approved in 2008/9 and that looks like being exceeded again this year.  These very generous, wonderful people have made a huge difference to many lives – not just the recipients, each time a transplant is done.  Here are some tremendous stories from four of them:

John Fletcher, a farmer in Fife
Paul Vandenbosch, a GP from Surrey
Maggie Harris, a teacher from Manchester
Barbara Ryder, from Cornwall

There are lots of sites on the web about altruistic donation, but if you’re thinking of it, go to your doctor, and best to mention it to your family too.

More art by Beth Shortt

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