Patients at the Kidney Wales Children’s Centre at UHW, Cardiff had an unexpected visitor yesterday as Ian Rush made an impromptu visit. Rush, the greatest goalscorer in the history of both Liverpool and the FA Cup in the modern era, visited the newly refurbished centre which offers specialist inpatient care to children with kidney disease, whilst in Cardiff.

Welsh football legend, Ian Rush said: “I was keen to come to meet the children at the centre and see the great work that the staff here do to support and care for them. I met young patients and families that were attending consultations and receiving dialysis treatment. All the children are truly inspirational although there was some friendly banter about my playing days from some of the keen Cardiff City supporters. It was good to meet Dion Evans and spend time with him.”

Roy J Thomas, Chairman of Kidney Wales said: “The children and families enjoyed seeing Ian at centre today. He is always a presence in Wales and contributes so much to Welsh life. The children enjoyed talking to him and getting footballs and t-shirts signed. We look forward to see him continue to work with the charity in Wales.”

Sister Helen Williams from the Kidney Wales Children’s Centre said: “We would like to thank Ian Rush for coming to see us. For children undergoing long dialysis sessions, having a footballing legend such as Ian visit the Centre brings happiness to the children and their families. It is a welcome break from their treatment and is a real boost for morale. They have all gone football mad following his visit, playing football games on the games console all afternoon.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITOR

ABOUT THE KIDNEY WALES CHILDREN’S CENTRE

The Kidney Wales Children’s Centre, was originally opened in 1999 and was recently refurbished at a cost of £100,000 – funded by Kidney Wales supporters.

The centre offers specialist inpatient care to children with kidney disease and renal failure.

The centre and its patients receive funding from the Kidney Wales Foundation for tuition, play equipment and staff training.

ABOUT THE KIDNEY WALES FOUNDATION

Established in 1967, Kidney Wales has had over forty years of success in supporting and working with kidney patients in Wales. During this time the charity has supported many aspects of kidney patient care in Wales including transplantation, dialysis, research and patient welfare. Kidney Wales played a major role in getting an organ donor card attached to driving licences in the UK and was instrumental in setting up Lifeline Wales – a computer register of people willing to be organ donors in the event of their death.

In 2007 Kidney Wales launched the ‘People Like Us’ campaign, which put renal patients centre stage as they articulated their vision on how Wales could become a world class provider of renal services . With over 490 people waiting for a transplant in Wales, a chronic shortage of organs and increasing demand, People Like Us had three key suggestions for how to save lives:

• delivering a new dedicated transplant unit for Wales;
• working with partners to deliver a substantial increase in donors; and
• introducing legislation in Wales for Soft Opt Out / Presumed Consent.

All three of these objectives have been met with positive responses from the Welsh Assembly Government and National Assembly for Wales.

The Kidney Wales Foundation also organises the organ donation campaign in Wales; working with six other charities and the British Medical Association to encourage more people to join the organ donor register.
www.donatewales.orgPatients at the Kidney Wales Children