Parents who each donated a kidney to their ill children face heartbreak

By Richard van Rensburg
20 July 2017

They made history when each donated a kidney to their two ill children.

Her parents made history when each donated a kidney to their two ill children. But now Ella Wishick (19) is facing a new crisis.

The blonde teenager from Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, England, received a kidney from her mom, Joanne, in 2012. Ella suffers from the same genetic kidney condition as her brother, Oliver (now 14), who’d by that time already received a kidney from their dad, Mark.

Mark and Joanne made news headlines as the first British couple to have donated a kidney each to their children. Oliver is still healthy thanks to his dad’s kidney, but Ella’s transplanted kidney started failing a few months ago.

“My daughter is very ill and needs a new kidney. The one she has now used to be mine but I happily gave it to her. It’s unfortunately failing her now and she desperately needs a new one,” writes Joanne on a crowdfunding website.

Ella should be out enjoying student life with her friends, Joanne writes.

“Instead she’s weak, tired all the time – being sick at least two, three times a day – her whole body itches, she keeps having fevers, a terrible cough because her body is making too much mucus, a loss of appetite from feeling nauseous constantly, and generally very low – these are all signs that her kidney is going into shutdown!”

By last month Ella’s kidney function was at only 15 percent of what it should be and she had to receive dialysis urgently to try to slow down the decline.

Joanne has now launched a public appeal to potential donors to have themselves tested to see if they’re able to donate a kidney to her daughter. She writes: “I have never had any problems myself from donating my kidney; we [humans] don’t actually need two!”

PHOTO: Facebook Ella wen she was still healthy and brother Oliver PHOTO: Facebook

Oliver, whose kidneys were vastly underdeveloped at birth, was only a month old when he started receiving dialysis. This continued until he was two – old enough to receive a donor kidney. Before the age of two, a child’s body isn’t big enough to accommodate an adult kidney. Mark – an ideal donor in terms of blood and tissue type – didn’t hesitate for a moment. Joanne says Oliver is doing well with the kidney her husband gave him 12 years ago.

Joanne also didn’t hesitate to donate a kidney to her daughter when it became apparent medication alone wouldn’t be enough. And a year after Ella’s transplant the Wishicks proudly watched as both their children won medals in the British Transplant Games.

Despite her health challenges Ella is a “caring, generous, loving person”, Joanne says. “She always thinks about others and tries to help them.” And now everyone who loves her is hoping Ella gets the help she needs.

Sources:,,, Facebook, Twitter.

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