Maddie Collins back on her feet quickly after 'miracle' surgery

Almost a week after a Christchurch teen's "miracle" surgery, doctors are in awe of how Maddie Collins is already beginning to walk on her own.

In 2009, Maddie, now 14, was diagnosed with a kidney disease called nephrotic syndrome - the same condition All Black great Jonah Lomu suffered from.

But, after receiving a potentially life-saving transplant, her life is already vastly different and so far, there is no sign of her previous disease returning.

Last Thursday, the Collins family flew from Christchurch to Auckland, after receiving a phone call from Starship, telling them to get on the first flight, because it had found a kidney match.

However, it wasn't all smooth sailing.

Maddie underwent the initial operation at Starship Children's Hospital, but after the six-hour surgery, she was rushed back in, after doctors found a kink in her artery that was restricting blood flow.

Sarah Collins says doctors are "surprised by how resilient Maddie has been and delighted with her progress".

After being told several years ago there was only a 4 percent chance of finding a match in New Zealand, the family feel a huge sense of relief and gratitude.

Maddie's father, Adam, was the live donor for her first transplant in 2012 and Mrs Collins says the "recovery is so much easier than last time".

Mrs Collins says Maddie will spend three months at Ronald McDonald House recovering, and hopes she'll be well enough to start school for Term 2 and return to her favourite hobby - horse riding.

Both Sarah and Maddie Collins wanted to acknowledge and thank the donor's grieving family for allowing the process to go ahead.

"We'll forever be grateful to this family - they've given us life."

Find out more information on organ donations:

  • Organ Donation NZ on 0800 4 DONOR (0800 436 667) 
  • Ministry of Health on 0800 LIVE DONOR (0800 5483 3666)