When I Gave My Daughter My Kidney
‘Deeply fascinating, challenging and impacting. I’m certain that as you read you will discover a God who loves you.’
Rev Anne Calver, author, speaker, church leader, Unleashed overseer
There are around 7,000 people on the UK Transplant Waiting List, and while there are many successful matches, hundreds die every year because no organ can be found. June’s young daughter, Tracey, would have been one of these tragic statistics if her mother hadn’t given her one of her kidneys.
While still a young girl in the 1970s, Tracey was diagnosed with nephritis – then called Bright’s disease – a form of chronic renal failure. At the time, little was known about the painful, life-threatening condition, and the chances of long-term survival were very slim. As a teenager, Tracey had to dialyse every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and regularly attend hospital clinics, making it impossible to lead a normal life. However, she was renowned for her positive approach and ability to encourage those around her, both at home and during her extended hospital stays – during one of which she was delighted to receive a visit from Blue Peter’s Sarah Greene!
Over the course of her life, Tracey would receive four kidney transplants, the final organ coming from her mother, June. For June, who had experienced so many ups and downs along the journey with her daughter, and found faith in the process, it was an incredible blessing. ‘As I started my recovery from the operation,’ she comments, ‘it suddenly hit me that one of my kidneys was now Tracey’s and it gave her the freedom of new life. What a wonderful privilege God had given me to give my daughter freedom from dialysis.’
Thanks to the transplants, Tracey’s life was extended by several decades, and she was able to marry, have children and play an incredibly active role in her church. She passed away in 2016, having been a source of great inspiration to many walking difficult paths, testifying to the truth that when God is all you have, He really is all you need.
A Hand Stretched Across the Void tells June and Tracey’s heartfelt story. Sharing the miracles and the battles, June testifies to the ever-present love of God in the best and hardest of times, engagingly showing how we can overcome disappointment and loss by taking firm hold of God’s hand. The hope and joy He gave transformed her and her daughter’s Tracey’s lives despite the hardships her illnesses caused, and can do the same for us.
‘A beautiful story of love and loss, right and wrong, and what we will do for the happiness of those we love.’
Millie O’Connor, Church Officer; Chair and founder of The Millie’s Foundation
A Hand Stretched Across the Void by June Whitehouse (ISBN: 9781912726684) is published by Instant Apostle and is available on 19th May 2023 from bookshops and online retailers. Biography, paperback, 176pp, £10.99.