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Sally-Anne Grainger comes face to face with potential organ donor Wes Joyce
FIRST MEETING: Sally-Anne Grainger comes fact-to-face with Wesley Joyce - the stranger who has offered to donate his kidney to the mum-of-two. Picture by John Anyon 2414619501.
THERE were a few tears and lots of laughter as a mum-of-two came face-to-face for the first time with the former "bad boy" who has offered to donate his kidney to her.
Walking through the doors of The Albion, Bath Road, Sally-Anne Grainger was soon standing in front of Wesley Joyce, the stranger who responded to her desperate front page plea for a live organ donor.
After embracing for several seconds, the pair sat down to talk to one another with Miss Grainger, from Swallowfields, Warndon Villages, admitting she was nervous and Mr Joyce claiming he could not sleep the night before.
Both had said they hoped to see one another before the operation and asked your Worcester News to organise a meeting.
Mr Joyce said: "It's real now.
"Up until now it hasn't really affected me, I haven't really thought about it.
"I'm in hospital tomorrow [Wednesday] to see which kidney you're having and even that hasn't affected me
"But meeting you, it is now very, very real."
He put his head in his hands as he tried to fight back tears before telling Miss Grainger: "All I can say is that I have done everything I can.
"It is in the doctor's hands now but I hope it works out for you. I really, really do."
Miss Grainger, who has cystic fibrosis, is in desperate need of a kidney transplant after strong medication she took during a double lung transplant in 2009 led to renal failure.
Usually very chatty, the 34-year-old seemed lost for words but told the dad-of-four: "I am so grateful to you I can't even thank you enough - words are useless."
She also reassured the pub owner that if the operation could not go ahead for any reason, she would always remain grateful to him for coming forward.
But Mr Joyce said he would do everything in his power to make it go ahead: "This is going to happen, this is all fate.
"Sometimes you can stop fate and change it - I was going in a bad direction before.
"Three years ago I was doing everything possible wrong and I thought "I need to stop this" so I put my foot down and changed and went the other way.
"If I only do good then good can only happen back."
After the ice was broken, the pair happily chatted away, sharing a similar humour with Mr Joyce revealing his dream was to pour Miss Grainger a pint of beer on Christmas day.
When Miss Grainger jokingly said she would prefer wine he quipped: "Wine then, just make sure you take care of my kidney."
Explaining why he would take part in a major operation for a stranger, Mr Joyce, 32, said he hoped prisoners or other ex-prisoners would read the story and realise they could also turn their lives around.
He explained upon seeing the Worcester News front page story he thought "It's time to change, Wes".
"I just couldn't imagine my children growing up without their mum in their lives."
The former Worcester City player even revealed when he lived in Blackpool a fortune teller had predicted he would change a woman's life and his lucky number was 33.
The pub owner will turn 33 in August - the month of the operation.
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