EVERY year Claire Rogers celebrates a special anniversary - the day she had a life-saving kidney transplant.

And 2019 will be all that more important as it marks 20 years since her dad Paul selflessly donated his organ.

Claire was just 17 when she was diagnosed with kidney disease after she developed flu-like symptoms.

She started university but her health continued to deteriorate and doctors told her she needed a transplant.

Both her parents Sandra and Paul offered up their organs and Paul’s was found to be the best match.

So on June 4 1999 Claire and Paul underwent the operations which would save her life.

For Sandra, from Harwich, it was an agonising six hour wait.

She said: “It was the worst and best day of our lives. My loved ones were going into theatre to have operations and we didn’t know what the result would be.

“But when I walked on to the ward and saw them both sitting up in bed, beaming with smiles, I knew it had been worth all the heartache.”

Paul, 63, added: “I never wavered about giving Claire my kidney.

“It’s one of those things that of course you’ll do for your child and the donation hasn’t left any lasting health issues.

“And I get to boast about my huge abdominal scar, telling people who spot it that I was bitten by a shark.”

But it wasn’t all been plain sailing as a few months after the transplant Claire began feeling extremely ill.

Specialist teams battled to save her life as her body began to reject the transplant.

For six weeks Claire remained in a critical condition in hospital as she underwent blood transfusions and trials with multiple anti-rejection drugs.

Her parents agreed to allow doctors to try a new drug being trialled in America to treat her and within days she was on the mend.

Claire said: “I can’t remember much about being in hospital during that time. I lost a whole two weeks of my life and it is clear without the innovative new drug, I wouldn’t be here today.

“Since that day I have never been back in hospital, have never been ill and have never looked back.

“My life is amazing now. I grew up in Harwich but now live in Suffolk with my partner Matt and we enjoy holidays and making the most of every day. After all, life is for living and enjoying precious memories.”

Claire, 40, now works for a company which supports people with brain injuries.

She said: “Every year on June 4 we have a celebration.

“Giving someone your kidney is the most selfless act you can undertake and I cannot thank my parents enough for their love, support and generosity over the years.

“This 20 year celebration of the operation we will be celebrating as a family and remembering what an amazing act it was.

“Life is a wonderful gift and we must cherish every moment.”

The family has been supported by Kidney Care UK.

To find out more visit www.kidneycareuk.org