Son?s gift to his mum
BEN Bowen is one of the Coffs Coast's newest residents ? but he is also Australia's youngest living kidney donor and an ambassador for organ donation.
Mr Bowen has literally given his mother a new life.
He was just six when he decided to get Martina Bowen off the dialysis machine which controlled her every move and although it took another 14 years before he was able to achieve his goal, he kept planning and never changed his mind.
Mrs Bowen had suffered from kidney failure since the age of two and a donated kidney failed when she was 31, so her only son grew up watching his mother, who also had two hip replacements, struggling with her crutches to fill the old dialysis machine with water and put needles in her arm.
"I told mum 'I'll get you off the machine when I'm able to'," he said.
He was forced to wait until he was 19 and have psychological tests as well as cat scans and cross-matching tests.
But the procedure was a triumphant success, he now has a very happy mother and he plans to take her on a trip to her Austrian homeland and Vienna for her 50th birthday.
Meanwhile the 22-year-old nurse, musician and hospitality worker is enjoying Coffs Harbour and looking for a full time job in the hospitality industry.
He is also happy to talk to anyone about organ donation and the importance of an annual blood test for kidney function. He can be contacted on 0401-870286.