Flaxmere's Colin Simpson has a spring in his step and a twinkle in his eye thanks to a phone call he received last week that has brought him hope and a renewed zest for life.

Mr Simpson is one of more than 400 people in New Zealand waiting for a kidney transplant, and shared his story with Hawke's Bay Today last month.

Due to developing polycystic kidneys and having had one organ removed, he has been on a gruelling dialysis regime for the last five months while waiting and hoping for a donor.

Doctors had told him that if he did not have the operation within the next year and a half, it would no longer be a viable option for him.


He said he was "getting to the stage where I have to get serious about it" and then earlier this month he received "the best phone call I have ever had".

It was from Otane mum and stepmum to six children Nicky van Pelt who had read the article and wondered why people were not donating - she rang up the living kidney donor co-ordinator to find out more and that proved to be the first step in the journey.

She was told 13 people had responded to the article, but no-one had asked about Mr Simpson.

"Because of patient confidentiality people had to ask about Colin or else he was still in the queue. I asked her 'What's the guts with that dude Colin - has he found a kidney yet?' and she asked if I wanted to donate to him."

Mrs van Pelt then took matters into her own hands and tracked him down through his business, Hawke's Bay Scrap Metal, that was mentioned in the article.

Like Mr Simpson, she said it was the best phone call she had ever made and they arranged to meet.

Their families hit it off and it had been a whirlwind of tests for Mrs van Pelt ever since - two 24-hour urine tests to see how well her kidneys worked, blood tests, glucose tests, fasting test, 24-hour blood pressure test, chest X-ray, ECG, smear test and most recently a cross-match blood test.

A kidney scan had been booked for October and there would also be counselling, she said.

Although both were getting excited at this point, they didn't want to jinx it.

Mrs van Pelt said she was a bit worried, but if it turned out the pair's kidneys were not compatible, they would get involved in the exchange, which she described as being like a chatroom with about 20 people in similar positions, touching base to see if they were a potential match.

"I have a spring in my step," said Mr Simpson. "It makes me feel like I have something to cling on to. I keep saying even if it doesn't happen I don't care, I have met some fantastic people to go fishing with - something about it feels right."

Mr Simpson's daughter had set up a Facebook page to chronicle the process called "Journey of Sidney the Kidney", the name the families had given to Mrs van Pelt's kidney.

To find out about donating a kidney contact Hawke's Bay DHB living kidney donor co-ordinator Merryn.Jones@hawkesbaydhb.govt.nz