A SCHOOLBOY, whose parents watched him “waste away” while he was suffering from a mystery illness, is overjoyed that a life-saving organ donation from his mum will allow him to compete in the British Transplant Games.

Ben Cadwallader from Prudhoe started suffering from sickness in early 2015, and his parents, Karen and Keith, were left baffled by his sudden deterioration.

“He gradually became more and more sick to the point we were leaving the house with a change of clothes and a bucket because we didn’t know when he was going to be sick,” explained Karen.

After heading back and forth to the doctors with no explanation as to what was causing 11-year-old Ben’s sickness, doctors finally made a breakthrough.

“He started retaining fluid in his face and it was quite puffy,” explained Karen. “We went to the hospital and we were really desperate. He was wasting away before our eyes.” Within 24 hours of being admitted to Newcastle’s Great North Children’s Hospital, Ben had been diagnosed with end stage renal failure, and was told he would need a kidney transplant to save his life. It had been caused by a rare genetic condition called Denys Drash Syndrome.

Tests showed Karen was a match and in November 2016, she went under the knife to donate one of her kidneys.

While waiting for his new kidney, Ben had dialysis three times a week to keep him alive, which made him feel unwell and restricted him from doing the sports he loved such as karate and swimming.

Now, more than two years on, Ben has made huge progress and is a member of the Newcastle Children’s Transplant Team, who are planning to attend the British Transplant Games in Newport in July, where Ben will compete in swimming. “Now he is just overjoyed,” said Karen.

“I think deep down he would love to come away with a medal but he’ll just go anyway and enjoy the fact he’s there.”

The Newcastle Children’s Transplant Team is holding a fund-raiser football event on June 23 at Swalwell Juniors Football Club to raise money for the team to attend.