LONG WAIT: Sharon Benelle and her daughters.
LONG WAIT: Sharon Benelle and her daughters. Coffs Coast Advocate

Sharon's long road to a better life

OUT of the blue last Saturday morning Sharon Benelle took the phone call she'd spent years waiting for.

Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital was on the line saying they'd found a kidney that would suit her and she should prepare immediately for her long-awaited transplant.

“It was incredible,” her husband, John Benelle, said.

“Sharon had been on the transplant list for two years and, in fact, had gone ahead and found herself a donor in Queensland, then this comes up - right in the middle of the flood.”

It was an opportunity the mother of three young girls was not going to miss, however, having suffered from kidney problems for four years.

But the logistics seemed daunting.

“I'm not working so our finances are low. We had to ring Sharon's sister in Europe to book the ticket on the internet with her credit card and then we phoned the local SES,” John said.

“They came in their 4WD to take her to Connell Park, then she went by helicopter to Coffs.

“And on arrival in Sydney she had a seven-hour operation.”

The operation was a success and John said Sharon was sounding bubbly and happy on the phone.

“It's like a whole new beginning,” he said. The family are planning to head to Sydney on Friday to visit Sharon.



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