A KIDNEY transplant patient from Wrexham is delighted at the turn around he has enjoyed in his life over the course of a year.

Twelve months ago the Leader reported on the plight of Paul Matthews and how he was battling for access to potentially life-saving medication.

Mr Matthews, from Rhos, had been told he would have to pay for the drugs needed to stop his body’s immune system from rejecting his transplanted kidney and pancreas.

Being in receipt of state benefits, he said there was no way he would be able to meet the cost of the charges.

The Leader contacted NHS Help With Health Costs and the Welsh Assembly Government over the issue.

Mr Matthews is pleased the matter has been resolved without him having to pay.

And he has been doing so well in recuperation that he has even been able to undergo another operation – this time for a replacement hip.

Given his previous medical history there was some concern from the doctors about surgery, but they were able to overcome any potential problems.

“I had the operation in Liverpool’s Broadgreen Hospital about five months ago and that was a success. It has given me more mobility.

"I am now able to go for short walks and that certainly helps to lift your spirits,” said Mr Matthews.

“Before the operation I was very restricted in my movements. It was pretty much just going to do the weekly shopping in the supermarket and that was it. I didn’t get out very much at all.”

Mr Matthews has experienced ill health for decades. His condition gradually deteriorated but the transplant surgery he received at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital began the process of a marked improvement to the quality of his life.