Could you be the Answer?


“How do you make a decision on your child’s life; when it should end, while their heart is still beating,” is just one of the heartbreaking quotes taken from West Melton’s Sarah Collins’ recent Facebook update.

Sarah uses the social media site to update her daughter’s Facebook page:

Maddie Collins – “Imagine what I can do when I’m better”.

Twelve year old Maddie from West Melton desperately needs a new kidney before her current one fails completely.

Maddie was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2009. In 2012 her father was delighted to be able to donate his kidney, which was a medical match, thus offering his daughter the hope of living a near normal life. However, Maddie’s body started to reject the kidney and in recent weeks efforts to keep her kidney functioning have been unsuccessful. Maddie’s kidney is slowly dying.

Her mum Sarah, is extending a public plea to find a suitable donor kidney for her daughter, as other options become more and more limited by the day. Maddie is no longer eligible  for a kidney from a deceased donor as experts could not guarantee the organ would survive this process. To add to this, desensitisation – whereby a   ‘near perfect’ match is found and transplanted, is not an option for the Collins’ either. It is an untested procedure in New Zealand and would require new protocols and the lengthy process of then being approved by the ethics committee.

So what choices are left for Maddie? A dialysis line has been inserted into her body after kidney function dropped dangerously low last week. Dialysis is the clinical purification of blood as a substitute for the normal function of the kidney. Sarah’s main concern with this process is that it will reduce Maddie’s quality of life dramatically. Her daughter is still a normal teenager who has a love of horse riding and enjoying normal teenage activities. Dialysis will put an end to all of this, it will keep Maddie alive but there will be no quality of life. So it is understandable that Sarah is desperate to avoid this debilitating last resort.

If a donor cannot be found, the outlook is pretty grim for Maddie’s future. The chances are already slim for finding a donor in New Zealand, but the complications of Maddie’s current condition narrows the search even further.


However, even faced with the slim odds that this family must live with every day, there is still hope; hope for this desperate family who wants the best possible quality of life for Maddie. Hope also that the little girl who is just entering her teenage years and should be gaining more independence and experiencing life to the full, can fulfill her dreams and aspirations. Hope for the whole Collins family is  in the form of a matching live kidney donor to keep Maddie alive – Could you be the answer?

Sarah is aware that inviting near strangers to donate their kidney is no small request, but the alternative not does not bear thinking about. How does a mother make a decision about their child’s life? When it should end, while their heart is still beating?

If anyone would consider  donating a kidney, please join the Facebook page  ‘Maddie Collins – Imagine what I can do when I’m better’.

Sarah can be contacted directly via this page and updates it regularly.

For further information about requirements to be a donor, the testing processes and the procedure please look at