Four year-old Saints and Liverpool FC fan Luke Atherton ready for action after transplant

St Helens Star: Luke with his sister, Holly, and mum and dad Vicky and David. Luke with his sister, Holly, and mum and dad Vicky and David.

FOUR year-old Luke Atherton is a lively little lad.

Rugby and football are his passion and, thanks to his dad, Luke can enjoy the rough and tumble of such sports.

From birth Luke suffered from a kidney defect but underwent a transplant at the end of last October with his dad, 46 year-old electrician David, as the donor.

“Luke had to have dialysis at home for 18 months while we waited for him to get bigger so he could undergo the operation,” said Luke’s mum Vicky, an education advisor.

“We were both tested to see if we could become donors and David proved a match for Luke. The transplant took place on October 31 and fortunately both Luke and David are fine.”

Luke attends Eccleston Mere Nursery and looks up to his eight year-old sister, Holly, a pupil at St Julie’s Catholic Primary School. According to her mum, Holly has been “a fantastic help” during difficult days before and after Luke’s operation.

Now the sporting family from Bleak Hill Road are regular spectators at St Helens RLFC and Liverpool FC games.

In gratitude for the hospital care Luke has received Vicky has organised a charity Grand National afternoon tea party to raise money for Alder Hey Kidney Fund and the Ronald McDonald charities.

The already sold-out party will be held at St.Anne and Blessed Dominic church hall in Sutton where 140 women will enjoy their own Ladies’ Day in support of the charities.

“We are grateful to everyone for supporting the day and to the businesses who have donated prizes for the event. It is important to raise awareness to these charities,” said Vicky.

“Although Luke is fine now, we know that in 20 or 30 years’ time he will need another transplant. Becoming a donor is so vital.”

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