In the autumn of 2006 Susan and I were filmed by the BBC for Songs of Praise to be shown on bonfire night. The programme was being broadcast from the CastleGate, the home of City Church Newcastle which Susan and I have strong links with. Songs of Praise wanted to interview several people from the church who had interesting life changing stories and they asked if we would share our story about how I gave one of my kidneys to Susan back in 2001. Susan had been going into renal failure through polycystic kidney disease. I was tested along with Susan’s mother,to see if either one of our kidneys would be a match, and remarkably mine was. Usually live donors are family members and because of Susan’s tissue type, the chances of receiving a kidney from a dead donor in the UK would have only been about 3%. A husband/wife donation is much more unusual. The operation took place on 27th June 2001 and has been a total success without any rejection. I commented on the programme the words of Jesus Christ on marriage and what I had said to the surgeon after the operation:
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh”? “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate”. Matthew 19:5-6
I said to the surgeon who had operated on me that the kidney would not reject because it became “one flesh” with Susan when we married each other.
Part of the filming took place on Newcastle’s Quayside and they asked me to do some painting on location. I decided to do this view of the Millennium Bridge which I tackled in one of my sketchbooks. The result was quite pleasing so I decided to do this larger 16″ x 12″ studio watercolour which depicts the bridge highlighted against the backdrop of a sky heavy laden with rain clouds. I think we were spared a heavy downpour during the filming, hence the title “Rain’s Past”!