Burnley snooker player donates kidney so wife can have her life back

Mr and Mrs David and Kathleen Howe who will both undergo surgery so she can have a kidney transplant (s)
Mr and Mrs David and Kathleen Howe who will both undergo surgery so she can have a kidney transplant (s)

A DEVOTED snooker player who has made it to the semi-finals of a top Burnley competition is preparing to have a major operation so that his wife can have her life back.

Mr Dave Howe (46), who plays for Ighten Leigh Social Club, will compete in the semi-finals of the Golden Cue 2011 tournament on May 8th.

Dave Howe

Dave Howe

But if he gets through to the final the match will have to be postponed because the dad-of-three is due to be admitted to hospital in Manchester.

Mr Howe, who used to play golf at Towneley Golf Club, will donate one of his kidneys to a stranger so they will give his wife Kathleen, known as “Aggie,” a kidney in return.

The transplant will be a lifeline for Mrs Howe (50) who has suffered kidney failure, triggered by high blood pressure, for four years. She currently must endure dialysis sessions three times a week and has no energy to perform the simplest of tasks. The couple are part of an exchange scheme which finds matches for kidney donors. Two other couples, thought to be from Scotland or the North-East, will have operations on the same day as Mr and Mrs Howe, May 20th.

Mr Howe had wanted to donate a kidney directly to his wife but although their blood group and tissue were found to be a match, the fact they have had children together means her body would probably reject it. Despite facing the prospect of major surgery Mr Howe, who is also a qualified snooker referee, said he just wants Kathleen to be able to lead a normal life.

“I know the risks involved for both of us but it’s a chance to give her her life back. At the moment she gets very tired quickly, she suffers from lack of energy. It’s taken quite a toll on our lives over the last few years but you just get on with it.”

Mr Howe has already spoken to competition organiser Mr Neil McGovern about what will happen if he gets to the final. “I’m hoping in five or six weeks after the operation I will be able to play again. I let Neil know the situation at the start of the tournament and he’s been very understanding. It’s just one of those things.

“I hope the surgery goes well not just for myself and my wife but for the other recipients because there are four people involved. I hope it gives them a new lease of life just as much as I hope it does for us.”