A woman has been given a new lease of life after her brother gave her ‘the most amazing gift’ of a new kidney

Ebtehal Al Mee, 33, was diagnosed with the autoimmune condition lupus in 2008. It causes the body’s own immune system to attack the internal organs and tissues and over time Ebtehal’s kidney function started to deteriorate.

Doctors told her that without a transplant Ebtehal would need to start dialysis – and that’s where older brother Abdel Aziz, 40, stepped in.

As one of eight children, there were a lot of family members who might have been potential donors to Ebtehal. However, Abdel Aziz – the oldest – was tested first and when he came back a good match, he volunteered immediately.

Ebtehal said: “My brother and I have a really special bond, he always looks after me. Obviously, I was worried for him and didn’t want to put him through the operation, but he insisted, he told me it was not up for discussion.

“I’m so grateful to him. It’s the most amazing gift and I’m really relieved that we are now both recovering well after our operations. I’m already feeling so much better with my new kidney.”

The family are all from Kuwait and their surgery as part of the Royal Free Hospital’s private patients unit.

Ebtehal added: “We came here because the Royal Free Hospital is a centre of excellence for kidney care. I want to say thank you to the staff, they looked after us so well.”

Abdel Aziz, who works in the civil service in Kuwait, added: “I was so happy to be able to help my sister, I can’t put it into words. I’ve seen her go through her illness for a number of years and when she needed a kidney there was no doubt that I would do it. I’m really grateful to the staff, They made us feel at home.”

Abudalaziz (8f5c57cd-71e4-47c9-92de-c5833cdf89c8)