A DAUGHTER who gave her late mother a second lease of life after donating her kidney, has spoken to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.

Sofia Kamran, who volunteers for Blackburn-based Lancashire BME Network, said her mum Jabeen Akhtar, who was suffering from renal failure, was worried that she would never find a donor in time.

In desperation, Mrs Kamran called her mum on her 60th birthday to tell her she was flying over the next day for the lifesaving operation in 2010.

Mrs Kamran underwent tests in Pakistan to check she was definitely a match and had the operation a week later.

After only three days, she was discharged from hospital to recover at the family home.

The 40-year-old now works tirelessly to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation, particularly in the BME (Black, Minority and Ethnic) community.

Mrs Kamran said it was an easy decision for her to make when her mum fell ill in 2009 as her uncle had donated a kidney to a family member 25 years before.

She said that although her family and many of her friends were supportive, some weren’t because of the controversy around organ donation within the Muslim community.

Since then her mum has died from a separate illness at the age of 61 but Mrs Kamran said it was amazing to see her get a second lease of life and is encouraging people to help others have the same chance.

She said: “My uncle was my inspiration. I always knew I would do it if I got the chance. I joined the organ donation register in my early 20s and when we found out my mum was suffering from renal failure, I knew I would do it for her.

“Some people were judgemental, said it wasn’t permissible in Islam and felt sorry for me having to go through such an operation. But I used to say - if your child or family member needed an organ transplant, would you do it. Of course they would. But where do they think the donors will come from? “

“For transplants to be available, we need donors from within our own community. The number of people on the transplant list is high but the number of donors on the register from the BME community is the lowest.

“I have a big scar but to me it is beautiful. It reminds me of what I did for my mum. God gave us this body so why wouldn’t use it to help others.

“I am fit and healthy nine years later. During Ramadan I fast with no problem; I just make sure I drink water when we break the fast. I have never had any problems.”

Mrs Kamran has spoken out during Organ Donation Week from September 2 to September 8.

The week of activity aims to shine a light on the generosity of donors and the incredible impact they have on transplant recipients.

The week is also an opportunity to educate, inform and inspire people, to help save and improve more lives.

Mrs Kamran added: ”You are leaving a legacy of life either while you are still alive like me or after you have gone. It is the most amazing gift you can give and it is free.

“I want people to make up their own minds but make sure they base it on fact and not myths. Why would you not help someone if you could? “