A COWDENBEATH man who was one of the longest surviving organ recipients has sadly passed away.

Martin Notman, 76, was born in Innerleithen in the borders, but moved to the Fife town when he was five years old with his aunt and uncle, after his mother became unwell and had six other children to care for.

He worked as an electrical fitter and he married his wife Evelyn in 1969, with the couple welcoming their only son David in September of 1970. However, shortly after, Martin became unwell with renal failure at the age of 23. 

Evelyn said: “He got rushed into hospital and he was in a coma and critically ill, and they didn’t give him much longer than a couple of days to live.

"He miraculously came through that but on two or three occasions that year we were told he wouldn’t live and we were also told to have Christmas early in the October, because he had been in hospital around about nine months off and on and he was getting dialysed.

“And then one day we got a phone call to say they had a transplant for him.

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“He didn’t do well on getting dialysed. It was a long sort of 10 months that he was ill, it felt a lot longer and we were young at the time and not long married with a child.

“It was a difficult time but it was a miracle.”

The Central Fife Times reported on Martin’s story previously in 1978. At the time, he had told the paper: “Kidney transplant is a wonderful thing.

“It transforms a very ill individual into a fit and healthy human being and gives him literally a new life.”

Martin got the kidney transplant when he was just 23 years old.Martin became unwell when he was just 23 years old. (Image: Evelyn Notman)

Later in life Martin was diagnosed with prostate cancer and he got robotic removal surgery. His doctors had to consult with their German counterparts on how to do it because Martin’s transplant lay to the front, so they had to find a way to get around the kidney without damaging anything.

Evelyn added: “Everything went well except that he had a catheter in for two weeks, although he was meticulous with hygiene it was inside he took sepsis.

“He was twice in the Victoria and we just about lost him. That of course affected his kidney, affected his transplant, the results got worse and worse.”

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Although he experienced poor health later in life, Evelyn said that Martin "honoured his transplant".

She went on: "He honoured the doctors that spent time doing it, and he honoured the lord for giving him it, and also the donor people who gave it up.”

Martin only ever had the one kidney transplant and was one of the longest surviving organ transplant recipients.

“We thank the lord we got these 50 odd years that we shouldn’t have had because he was dying that year when he took ill and three times I got told, you’re not going to have him much longer.

"I said to David, you had your father all these years you shouldn’t have, so we should be thankful. But we still miss him.”

Martin leaves behind his wife Evelyn, son David, and daughter-in-law Carol.

His funeral is on Monday, June 17 at Beath Cemetery.