Friend donates kidney to save Moy
HE HAS been part of her life for years and soon that may become permanent.
Noosa identity Moy Sweetman, founder of charity group Frangipani Dreams, has revealed writer and freelance journalist Tommy Leitch as the man who will donate one of his kidneys to save her life.
Ms Sweetman's daily life has long been haunted by kidney failure and the filtering of her system is now done exclusively by machines.
Mr Leitch's selfless offer to provide her with a healthy kidney should change all that.
The pair have known each other for three-and-a-half years, after he moved to Noosa from Byron Bay.
He treasured her kindness and friendship but was pained seeing her tethered to dialysis.
After 12 months in her life, he was secretly tested to find out if his kidney could be given away.
"When it came back that I was a universal donor, I told her it was there if and when she needed it," Mr Leitch said.
"She said 'no' originally, because I'm a dad and she didn't want to jeopardise my health.
"But on my birthday, September 14, she phoned me in tears and said 'it's come to the 11th hour and I need to take you up on the offer'."
Ms Sweetman clearly remembers the call.
"I said 'How serious are you Tommy?' He said 'I'm dead serious'," she recalled.
The friends are working through a laundry list of tests to ensure that Ms Sweetman's body will not destroy the precious gift.
Mr Leitch is a non-smoker, non-drinker with a vegan diet and a talent for yoga and his kidney appears so far to be perfect.
"We were hoping that (the transplant) would be done by Christmas but hopefully January next year," Ms Sweetman said. "At least it's weeks away, instead of years."
Ms Sweetman has had 38 operations this year - 10 in one fortnight.
"Every second day I go to Noosa Hospital," she said.
"My life on dialysis was coming to an end. That's when I spoke to Tommy. He is literally saving my life."
Yesterday a fundraiser was held for Mr Leitch, who won't be able to work for six weeks after surgery.
Mr Leitch said his chance to give a friend a part of himself was "a blessing", not something to fear.
"For someone as myself, living a very healthy lifestyle anyway, it's looking incredibly positive," he said.
"I'm thrilled and excited and a little embarrassed.
"A few of Moy's closest friends have let me in on how things are and how excited she is.
"I'm really blessed and honoured. I'm not in the least bit nervous."