A DAUGHTER has saved her father’s life after she donated her kidney to him.

But firstly, Kirsty Leeson had her own challenge.

In order to donate her kidney to her dad, Stephen Dibson, she had to get her body mass index below 30 and that meant losing nearly six stones.

Kirsty said: “I had wanted to lose weight for a while to be able to donate my kidney to my dad who had polycystic kidney disease and his kidney was failing.

“This is a hereditary disease and he needed a transplant.

“Luckily I didn’t have the disease, so I was able to donate my kidney, but for this I needed to lose weight first.

“I had tried several times on my own but failed, therefore, I decided to go and join the Slimming World group.”

Kirsty, 40, of Seaview Avenue, Little Oakley, joined the Slimming World group in Harwich in August 2017 and lost five stone and 12lbs.

She said it has turned her life around and also allowed her to undergo surgery to be able to donate a kidney to her father.

The father and daughter successfully underwent the kidney transplant in June last year.

Mr Dibson, 66, had been on the transplant waiting list for about nine months before his life-saving operation.

Both Mr Dibson and Kirsty were admitted to the Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for the procedure.

Kirsty said: “I was in the hospital for only two days but my dad had to stay there for a week.

“I’m really pleased with the result, my scars are barely visible.

“Everything went to plan.”

Mr Dibson, of London Road, Clacton, said he was really moved by his daughter’s efforts and her gift of life.

He said: “I can only describe what she’s done as absolutely mind-blowing.

“She’s done it off her own bat, I have never asked for it.

“I’m really grateful for her to do this, I couldn’t have wished for a better gift.

“Her view all along was to keep her dad alive as long as possible.

“I’m really proud for what she has done and what she has achieved.”

Kirsty said she wouldn’t have been able to do this without the help of her consultant, Emma, at Slimming World.

She added: “I am so pleased I stuck with Slimming World, got to my target and was able to help and support my dad.

“I really wouldn’t have been able to do this without the support of my consultant and my friends at the group.

“Now I feel great and I’m really proud of myself for what I’ve done.”

Emma said: “I am so proud of Kirsty.

“What she has achieved in the last year is amazing.

“To do such a kind and wonderful thing for her dad is amazing. She really is a true inspiration to our group.”

As well as losing her weight and helping her father, Kirsty also helped her 14-year-old son, Stephen Leeson.

Stephen, who attends Harwich and Dovercourt High School, lost three stones himself by eating home-cooked meals with her.

Kirsty said she has also made some lifestyle changes not just with her food diet but also by becoming more active and working out more.

She said: “I used to get out of breath very quickly by just walking but now I ride my bike and walk everywhere, at least three miles a day.”