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Mandi, 51, donated one of her kidneys to Eric, allowing him to take the arm of actress daughter Lauren. The transplant match was doubly special as interracial donations have a lower chance of success.
Eric, 59, an information security specialist, said: “To be able to walk my daughter Lauren down the aisle on her wedding day was an incredibly special moment. It meant so much to all of us.
“It was only made possible by Mandi’s selfless donation – without that gift, I wouldn’t have seen my daughter getting married.” Lauren recently starred in Mammals and the ITV hit Grantchester.
Eric suffered from sclerosis of the kidney, which meant it was not filtering his blood properly.
He said: “My body suddenly started attacking itself. I had been poorly since I was diagnosed in 2002, but I was kept stable on medication for eight years and carried on with my life.
“But then I suddenly started going downhill and the doctors told me that it was highly likely I was going to need a new kidney.”
Sclerosis of the kidney causes a loss of proteins in the urine. Without them, fluid leaks into nearby tissue causing swelling. It can lead to kidney failure which can only be treated with dialysis or a transplant.
When she knew her husband needed a new kidney, Mandi stepped up, but initially, the couple did not think they would be a match.
Eric said: “Mandi is white and I am black, so doctors said it wasn’t going to work. There was a much bigger chance of it failing because it was an interracial donation.”
But tests found the couple were a perfect match.
Eric said: “We were amazed when we were given the go-ahead for Mandi to donate.”
Since the transplant at Guy’s Hospital in London in 2010, Eric has gone from strength to strength.
He said: “It was talked about in the wedding speeches and all the guests knew how special it was that I had been able to do my duties as father of the bride.
“I felt very lucky and it’s only thanks to Mandi. I also managed to see my son Craig get married four years ago. It really did give me a second chance at life.”
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