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Eddie puts up his own cash to start kidney fund

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Eddie Leo presents £200 to Vilma Clingham-Toms to launch a dialysis appeal
Eddie Leo presents £200 to Vilma Clingham-Toms to launch a dialysis appeal

A fund has been launched to save the lives of people on St Helena who have kidney disease.

Eddie Leo put up £200 to start the fund after a neighbour died because the island had no dialysis machine to take over the work of patients’ failed kidneys.

He handed it over to the St Helena Association at the Reading Sports, the annual gathering of Saints in the UK.

“If we haven’t got a dialysis machine, people die,” said Eddie.

“We got nothing. So I think it would be wonderful if we could raise funds for one.

“I think Saints over here in the UK will donate for a good cause. I think they are very generous and they will help.”

The St Helena Association – which gives thousands of pounds a year to island charities – has promised to match any donations, up to a certain limit.

Eddie said: “I think the government should pay so much towards it, but it doesn’t appear to be coming forth.”

In the UK, patients with advanced kidney disease spend several hours a week connected to dialysis machines, which remove waste fluids from the body. The only alternative is a kidney transplant.

Eddie lived in the UK for 63 years before retiring to St Helena.

He was one of The Hundred Men who left their homes and families at only a few days’ notice shortly after World War Two, when the British government offered work and free passage in response to an appeal from the poverty-stricken island.

He served for many years as chairman of the St Helena Association. He is pictured handing over his donation of Reading Sports organiser Vilma Clingham-Toms.

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