"Downton Abbey" Star Matt Barber Was Born 2 Months Premature And Almost Lost His Life Because Of Rare Kidney Tumor At First Month Of His Life

September 10, 2019

Matt Barber revealed that he owes Great Ormond Street Hospital his life.

Matt Barber has opened up about his own difficult birth and revealed that doctors didn't expect him to survive.

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Matt's rare kidney tumour

Matt, best known for playing dashing young aristocrat Atticus Aldridge in the ITV period drama Downton Abbey , said:

"'My parents were told I had a kidney that hadn’t formed properly and the only information about my condition at that time was a footnote in a book"

The talented actor spent the first month of his life at the hospital after having life-saving surgery.

“Honestly, I simply wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Great Ormond Street Hospital – they saved my life,”

- says Matt, 36, who lives with his wife Cecelia in West London.

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Matt’s mother Susan was seven months pregnant with him when she fell ill. Tests showed there was something wrong with the child and the hospital said they would have to do an emergency caesarian section.

Within hours of being born – two months premature – Matt was rushed by ambulance to Great Ormond Street Hospital

Life-saving surgery

It turned out that Matt had ­mesoblastic nephroma, a rare, non-cancerous kidney tumor which is usually diagnosed before babies are a month old.

Luckily, Matt was in very good hands. His consultant was Edward Kiely, one of the UK’s most experienced pediatric surgeons, who went on to become known for separating conjoined twins. With the affected kidney removed, Matt was transferred to an incubator in intensive care. Becoming stronger day by day he grew up to be a brilliant and healthy man due to the team of doctors and their skills that saved his life.

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Matt's fans admitted:

"God has watched over you, Matt

" Well welcome to the world little one 😀 My son used to work in the. NICU ( neonatal icu). He'd intimate tiny little ones."

" Downton Abbey-one of the most wonderful series I've ever seen!It brought me in a time I have lived!

Now Matt is one of the charity’s celebrity supporters, and as the RBC Race for the Kids celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, he’s hoping 10,000 people will join him in Hyde Park for the 5km run.

The money raised will go towards research into pioneering treatments, fresh equipment and ­refurbishment.

It's great that the man remembers of his difficult birth and appreciates his life even more!