Delivering good news
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Usually, a knock on the door in the middle of the night heralds bad news but for Westcliff resident Paul Rudd it brought news of a life-saving kidney transplant.
And it was PC Alex Watt and PC Sam Hudson, from Southend Local Policing Team, who were asked to make the call.
“It was quite a welcome change as we usually deliver bad news. But this was god news and Mr Rudd was able to get his transplant.”
PC Sam Hudson
Now a grateful Mr Rudd, his wife Buschra and daughter Isabella, four, have thanked the pair over a cup of coffee.
“Had they not come round, I don’t know where I’d be today. They got me into a taxi and I got a life-saving operation. Had it not happened, I would still have been on dialysis and quite weak.
"But now I’m on the road to recovery and I owe it all to Alex and Sam and Essex Police for coming to my aid. I really can’t thank them enough.”
Paul Rudd recalls the night Alex and Sam knocked on his door with good news.
It was 3am on Friday 21 August when Alex and Sam were asked by our Force Control Room to call at the Rudds’ house because the Royal London Hospital had been trying unsuccessfully to reach Mr Rudd to tell him a kidney had become available for transplant. Mr Rudd had been on the transplant list since November 2019, having started suffering kidney problems three years ago.
“We parked round the corner and knocked on the door. Mrs Rudd couldn’t see the car and, initially, she wouldn’t let us in and asked us to prove who we were. I said ‘It’s about Paul and his kidney’ so then she knew that it was safe to open the door.
PC Alex Watt
“At first I was worried it was an elaborate hoax. Then I thought ‘We haven’t done anything, we haven’t been anywhere’ because we had been isolating.
But when they said it was about Paul and his kidney, I rushed down the stairs. I knew then it was legit because they’d told me something else no-one else could know.”
While Alex went upstairs to speak to Mr Rudd and explain what was happening – that he needed to pack a bag and get to the hospital within the next couple of hours – Sam and Mrs Rudd called a taxi.
Mr Rudd was in a taxi five minutes after Alex and Sam left and arrived shortly afterwards at the hospital, where he later had the transplant operation.
“It’s been absolutely amazing. I started dialysis during Lockdown when transplant operations were frozen. But the call came the second week after surgeries resumed. The operation was five hours and, when I came round, there were immediate signs the kidney was working.
“It is a life-changer. It’s priceless.
“People are quick to criticise the police as they don’t see this side of things.”
“Alex and Sam went above and beyond the call of duty. Before, it was all about whether Paul would get a kidney and wondering what was going to happen. Now we can plan again.”
Now Mr Rudd is on the road to recovery, the couple wanted to thank Alex and Sam for knocking on their door that fateful night and wrote to us, asking to meet them so they could do just that.
“It was nice to meet the Rudds again. Sometimes we leave and we don’t get to hear the ending.”
PC Alex Watt
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*The meeting took place before new COVID-19 guidance was announced by the Government on 12 October 2020.