Fife bodybuilder hails ‘hero’ son who saved his life

A Methil bodybuilder has called his son a ‘hero’ after he donated a kidney which saved his dad’s life.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 4:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 5:10 pm
Josh and Jimmy outside Unique Physique in Leven.
Josh and Jimmy outside Unique Physique in Leven.

In 2014, Jimmy Salmond was diagnosed with a kidney disease as a result of hypertension, with his training, competitive bodybuilding and high-protein diet putting more strain on his kidneys.

Having turned down offers from his daughter, mother and wife for kidneys, his son Josh stepped up and donated one of his – an experience the pair says has brought them closer together.

Despite having just seven per cent kidney function in the lead up to the operation, Jimmy continued to train – and even took part in a British competition last year, coming fifth.

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Josh said donating a kidney to his dad had never crossed his mind until his mother asked him to consider it.

“I thought it was something to look into it,” said Josh.

“I wasn’t pressured. I did some research and I got the introduction booklet. It was the beginning of something amazing. Everything has flown since then.

“My dad was still going. He never moaned. I am so proud of my dad. I’ve always been proud of my dad. I look at my dad and he’s inspiring to me.”

Josh worried that he might be rejected, leaving his dad waiting, possibly years, for a kidney donor to come forward.

However, after testing, Josh was described as a ‘gold standard match’ for his dad.

In donating his kidney, Josh, aged 22, also became the youngest donor at the Royal Infirmary.

The operation went well, however, the father and son had different reactions after waking up.

After 12 hours I was trying to get on my feet,” said Jimmy.

Meanwhile, Josh was in a lot of pain, although his dad helped inspire him.

“I remember, it’s not even 24 hours since the operation and he’s walking about with a zimmer,” Jimmy said.

“I’m still in bed and can’t move, I’m in that much pain. It shows how mentally strong he is. He said I need to get moving. He gave me that bit of motivation.”

Both are now out of hospital and back at Jimmy’s Leven gym, Unique Physique.

Josh said he is “feeling great” while Jimmy, who is not supposed to train for three months, has been working out.

“I would like to thank all my family and friends for their support, and the Royal Infirmary – they are amazing,” said Jimmy.

“Our partners, Emma and Claire, supported us. The staff at the gym were great as well.”