A mum is appealing to the kindness of strangers to save her for the sake of her two young sons as she goes into kidney failure.

Trainee nurse Tania Hussey, 39, was days away from a transplant last year when a live donor - a man she had never met - came forward to offer one of his kidneys.

However a last minute hitch meant the op had to be cancelled, bringing despair to Tania, her partner Joe Howey, 43, and their sons Joe, 10, and Jesse, six.

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She now faces a race against time as her kidney function drops to just 13% and daily dialysis looming to keep her alive.

Tania, from Newcastle, said: "We haven't told the boys too much detail, but they do realise I'm sick and need to have a kidney transplant.

"It looked as though our prayers had been answered last year when a
man came forward and offered to donate one of his kidneys.

The Northern Echo: Tania Hussey with partner Joe Howey and their sons Joe and Jesse.Tania Hussey with partner Joe Howey and their sons Joe and Jesse. (Image: TANIA HUSSEY)

"I'm blood group O and my family and friends are not a match, but he was the same blood group and everything was looking very positive.

"He had undergone all the tests but as we were getting to the point of preparing for the transplant it was discovered I had antibodies which he didn't have.

"It meant I would have rejected the kidney and it had to be cancelled. I can't thank him enough for what he tried to do but we had to pick ourselves up and start again.

"My health is deteriorating, I'm constantly tired and I'm about to go on the transplant waiting list.

"This would be for a deceased donor and of course we don't know how long that could take. It could be a couple of months, it could be five years. And a living donor would be better in terms of outcomes.

"As word has spread of my situation I've had people getting in touch to say they might be a match and will contact the hospital to have tests.

"It really is amazing that there are people prepared to make that sacrifice and I'm so grateful to anyone who sees my appeal and considers coming forward."

The Northern Echo: Tania and Joe's sons Joe, 10 and Jesse, six.Tania and Joe's sons Joe, 10 and Jesse, six. (Image: TANIA HUSSEY)

Tania has an illness called autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, which means that her kidneys have become covered in cysts.

She first discovered she had the hereditary illness when she was aged 18, but in the last couple of years her kidney function has dropped dramatically.

Her hopes of becoming a nurse herself have been affected because the stress of her illness, coupled with the recent death of her mum, meant she had to stop her studies.

Tania said: "On top of my own health problems, I'm worried about the boys and not just because of the effect my illness is having on them.

The Northern Echo: Tania is training to be a nurse.Tania is training to be a nurse. (Image: TANIA HUSSEY)

"This illness is hereditary and there is the ongoing worry that one of them will inherit the same condition at some point in the future.

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"As a family we are just hoping for the best and taking each day as it comes."

Around half of kidney transplants involve a living kidney donor, and medics say this has "significant advantages", not least because a transplant can be undertaken at the most optimum time.

While many living donors are related to the person receiving the kidney, that's not always the case - and it is possible to be an "altruistic donor". People live normal lives with just a single kidney - though any potential donor has to go through a rigorous assessment process.