A WIFE who needed two kidney transplants is encouraging others to speak out about organ donation.

Jenni Verlander was diagnosed with scarring of the kidneys when she was ten.

It is not known what caused the condition but it can be life-limiting.

Jenni, 29, was given medication but due to her blood levels declining she was put on the kidney donor register aged 15.

She underwent her first transplant when she was 17 but it failed. She then had to wait another 11 years for a second.

Jenni said her first symptoms were headaches. She said: “I started having really bad headaches for two years, but was just told it was because I was a kid trying to get out of school.

“Then I changed GP and they found my blood pressure was really high.

“I was on tablets for the blood pressure but that was all, I was then put on the transplant list when I was 15 as they didn’t want me to have a dialysis.”

Jenni waited two years before her first transplant. However, there were complications.

She said: “I ended up getting kidney stones, and there was a hole in the kidney.

“I had to have a graft from my bladder on to the kidney but in the end I had it taken out. My body just couldn’t fight it.”

This huge setback affected Jenni mentally, and she became depressed.

She said: “I ended up trying to take my own life, I was in hospital for seven months and you just become institutionalised.

“I felt depressed, like I wasn’t getting any support.

“Thankfully I’m still here and I met my husband Jay shortly after that point. He saved me. “

Jenni was put on dialysis after the failed transplant but got pneumonia and fluid on her lungs.

Her condition deteriorated

and she dropped to weighing just 7st and being wheelchair dependent.

Jenni was not allowed back on the donor list until she grew stronger but she finally received the call she could have another transplant on March 11 this year.

She said: “As soon as I came around from the operation I was as high as a kite.

“I just felt 100 per cent better, and I had so much energy.

“I felt like a different person, I was walking the length of the ward. I was discharged on my 29th birthday.”

Jenni, who lives in Colchester, still has bladder problems and will need to use a catheter for the rest of her life but said: “At the beginning of the year I was on crutches, I couldn’t work and I was hardly eating. Now I couldn’t be happier, I’m exercising and I’ve just got my first job as a carer for Westminster Home Care.”

Jenni is encouraging families to speak about their wishes after they die.

She said: “I think there should be more education on organ donation. I just want to get people to talk about what they want. I think people are scared of what their families would think of their wishes.”

She is also organising fundraisers for the transplant ward at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

Visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jenni-verlander.