AN 89-YEAR-OLD man who donated one of his kidneys to a stranger is encouraging others to do the same this Organ Donation Week.

Overton altruistic donor Nicholas Crace went through the process six years ago after seeing what people go through on dialysis, a procedure which removes waste and excess fluids from blood when kidneys stop working properly.

The then 83-year-old signed up to donate at the transplant centre at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, and within seven months had completed his act of good will.

Altruistic donation is where living people donate a kidney to someone they do not know and may never meet.

Nicholas said: “I know someone on dialysis and the utter misery it cost him and his family.

“People think dialysis does cure this problem, it only does 25 per cent function of a kidney, it is a horrible position to be in.

“Altruistic donors have the imagination to understand the suffering that people go through on dialysis while waiting for a transplant and the courage and generosity to do something about it.

“I have no children but I have given someone life.”

Before Nicholas went under the knife he had to complete a full range of tests to check his kidney’s health, and his own fitness for undergoing the surgery.

Nicholas said: “My recovery was very quick, in a week I was back on my bike and mowing the lawn. I felt no change at all.

“They [hospital staff] were very welcoming and it was a wonderful experience, it is not an ordeal at all it is quite painless.”

Nicholas now meets with other Hampshire altruistic donors in a group called The Squeezed Oranges, who encourage others thinking about becoming donors.

The Wessex area - Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight - has had the highest number of altruistic kidney donors per head of population in the country with 55 donors between 2007 and 2017.

Nicholas also now knows the recipient of his kidney, a 72-year-old woman from near Sheffield, who has come to visit him since and is “doing just fine.”

He added: ““Living donation is highly successful, and hundreds of people have had their lives saved and transformed thanks to the generosity of kidney donors.”

“Humans can live perfectly well with just one kidney and most of us have two healthy ones.

“The Squeezed Oranges are a group of ordinary people that have done an extraordinary thing.”