A dad is giving the gift of life by donating his kidney to a stranger.
Mark Houghton will undergo major surgery to give away one of his kidneys to someone he will never meet.
The 52-year-old made the decision earlier this year after listening to a discussion about organ donations on the radio.
“I always knew people could give kidneys to family members but I didn’t realise you could give a kidney anyway to a non-family member,” said the dad-of-two.
“It seems like the ideal way of making a big difference to someone’s life.
“It is quite an amazing thing being able to do this given the fact that people are dying waiting for a kidney.”
In his spare time Mark, a painter and decorator, volunteers for many charities and has done various fundraisers but now wants to take his act of kindness one step further.
“Sometimes you wonder whether the volunteer work is making a difference but with this you are certainly going to be making a big difference to another human being,” said Mark.
Mark underwent various health to tests to make sure he was suitable for the donation. The amateur runner is not looking forward to his lesser active lifestyle once he undergoes the operation.
He said: “I am not looking forward to it but it is one of those necessary evils, it is like going to the dentist but you know it is the right thing to do.
“Surgery is not going to do me any good in the short term, it is not going to be a barrel of laughs.
“I am very lucky, my lifestyle is very flexible, not everybody can do this.”
Mark doesn’t want to find out who receives his kidney.
“I don’t feel the need to know who they are and what they are like because that’s when you may start to make value judgements,” he said.
“It would be cringe worthy for me to get a thank you because for me it is just the right thing to do.
“Everybody is very supportive, my mum and my kids.”