A family with a long history of kidney complications spanning more than a century have joined the Sheffield Hospitals Lottery to thank city doctors for their care.

Many of the Hughes family have had years of treatment for Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) at the Sheffield Kidney Institute at the city’s Northern General Hospital and say their care over the years has been ‘top notch’.

All my mum’s family died of PKD including my mum...

Mum, Gladys Hughes, who’s 85 years old this summer, found out she had PKD in 1971. She said: “All my mum’s family died of PKD including my mum, Mary, who was just 53. Back in those days there wasn’t much knowledge of the condition and how to treat it.

“I knew I would be at risk as it’s a hereditary disorder, but didn’t have any symptoms. Then one day I fell on some ladders resulting in a massive haemorrhage. It was only during tests at the hospital that the cysts on my kidneys were found. Over time I needed dialysis, and was put on the waiting list for a transplant. As I was so unwell, I had to give up my job as auxiliary nurse which broke my heart, as I loved it.

“Then I got the call I was waiting for - there was a kidney for me. I had the transplant the next day. That was in 1990 when I was 58 years old. I’ve had the same kidney for 28 years with no trouble at all – it’s amazing really.”

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Gladys' three children, David, Alan and Ann, all have the disorder.

Daughter Ann Jessermino, aged 57, was tested for PKD when Gladys was diagnosed following her accident.

“All of us were tested when mum fell. Alan and I were confirmed as having PKD, but David was clear until he reached 40. We had to go on yearly visits to the Sheffield Kidney Institute for tests.

“In 2006 my blood pressure started to increase so I was put on medication to lower it as high blood pressure can be detrimental to kidney function. I get very tired, but I haven’t needed a transplant just yet. To help avoid this I was pleased to be selected for the use of a new drug called Tolvaptan which slows down cyst growth.”

"I thought I'd got away with it..."

One of Gladys’ sons, Alan has needed two transplants. Her other son, David, admits he ‘thought he’d got away with it,’ but needed a transplant in the summer of 2016.

“I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 40, after my blood pressure increased. I was referred for an ultrasound scan and blood tests, which found my kidney function was reducing,” David said.

“When my kidney function dropped to 12 per cent I started dialysis, which I needed for two and a half years before a kidney became available from a deceased donor. Thanks to that person, God bless them, my function is now back up to 80 per cent.

"They saved our lives..."

“PKD makes you feel tired and listless, it upsets your rhythm. Transplants are successful in putting symptoms right, but you have to look after yourself; you owe whoever gave you that kidney. 

“I was recently at a check up at the hospital when I walked past the new Sheffield Hospitals Charity fundraising hub. I popped in and found out about the charity and its lottery. I signed up straight away, after all the help we’ve had over the years I didn’t hesitate.

“We’ve had such fantastic care and are so privileged that we live near to such a specialist centre so close to where we live. The staff have done so much for all of my family, they saved all our lives.”

Play the Sheffield Hospitals Lottery today

The Sheffield Hospitals Lottery raises vital funds for Sheffield’s adult NHS hospitals and the Jessop Wing maternity hospital, with all the proceeds going to Sheffield Hospitals Charity to help improve local patient care.

The weekly draw costs from only £1 a week. Players have a chance to win £25,000 each week plus other prizes for matching three, four and five numbers.