A heartbroken mum says she has never been so hurt after her youngest son died days before Christmas from kidney disease – 15 years after her eldest son died from the same condition.
Matthew Greening went to hospital three times a week for dialysis after being diagnosed with chronic kidney failure 12 years ago.
However, in the final months of 2018, his condition deteriorated to the point where his heart and lungs began to shut down and he was left in “excruciating pain”.
His mother, Margaret Greening, 69, said: “He had been in hospital for a while and things were bad. He was in pain towards the end, excruciating pain, and all he kept saying when he could speak is, ‘I want to die,’ and he went to sleep three days before Christmas.
“My daughter was with him at the time and she said she knew straight away he was going and then within seconds he was gone.
“It was peaceful at the end and it was as if there was no pain.”
A lasting legacy for a selfless man
The 35-year-old, who lived in Aldbrough with his mum and his dad, David Greening, was one of Hull Royal Infirmary’s longest dialysis patients and Mrs Greening has revealed how her selfless son would always try to help whoever he could on the ward.
“He was such a loving, caring child,” the mum-of-five said.
“All he ever did was help people and even after he had finished his dialysis he would go round the ward to help others.
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“The two of us were extremely close. He loved his dad but it always me he came to if he had a problem.
“Every single day he would come through in his pyjamas and sit on the chair in my bedroom and say ‘Shall we have a cig, Mum?’
“He told me all sorts of things about what had happened in hospital, who the nurses and patients were, and he had such a big impact that half the nurses from the unit want to come to the funeral.
“It means a lot for us to know there are so many people that want to be at his funeral. The family can’t believe it and we didn’t realise the impact he had made on so many people’s lives.
“He really was just a happy, social lad who would do anything for anybody.”
‘People treated Matthew as a leper’
Matthew had a passion for animals and worked in a pet shop before getting a job in a lawnmower shop in Aldbrough.
But as well as battling kidney disease and beating pneumonia, Matthew suffered from psoriasis which caused his body to become covered in scabs.
It knocked his confidence massively and sometimes led to cruel jibes from vicious members of the public.
Mrs Greening said: “When he got out of bed he had scabs everywhere and we had to clean his bedroom every day. He used ointments but within days they would always be back.
“People treated him as a leper and once when he went to see the consultant at the hospital with his father there was a woman and a little girl who came and sat down near him.
“The little girl came across to Matthew and started talking to him and the mother said ‘Get away from that – it’s not even human’. He said he wanted to cry but he didn’t want to let her know that her comments had got to him.
“He always took everything in his stride and he knew it was just silly people making these remarks.”
An ‘evil’ tragedy
Due to his psoriasis, Matthew was never able to get a kidney transplant despite being on the waiting list for years; and in the final few months of his life when his heart began to shut down, Mrs Greening says a transplant could not go ahead.
After Matthew’s funeral, which will be held at All Saints Church in Burstwick on January 27 at 11am, he will be buried alongside his older brother Mark.
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He died 15 years ago from kidney disease and doctors have told Mrs Greening she may have passed on a gene which led to the deaths of two of her five children.
It is a tragedy which she has condemned as “evil,” and although she knows Matthew is no longer suffering she cannot comprehend how she has lost her eldest and youngest child to the same disease.
“It just doesn’t seem right that my eldest and youngest have both gone the same way,” Mrs Greening said.
“It’s evil, really evil. I thought it was bad when Mark died but this is evil. How can it be two of them?
“I do understand he is no longer suffering but I’ve never been as hurt as I have this time. He was a caring, loving, helpful person and everybody loved him. I just can’t believe he has gone.”
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