The girlfriend of a Midland man waiting to have a kidney transplant at a Birmingham hospital has launched an internet campaign to raise #23,000 to fund the vital operation.
Alan Vaughan, who lives in Barnt Green, Worcestershire, has been waiting for a donor organ since September 1998.
His partner Kelly Hollier (pictured with Alan) is now inviting people to help the couple to "buy our happiness" on internet auction site eBay.
Visitors to the site are being asked to buy slices of "happiness" for as little as 23p each, although donations of all sizes are welcome. The couple have so far raised #317.
Last month, Mr Vaughan was offered a lifeline by a new transplant procedure that allows people with different blood groups to donate and receive organs.
His mother Margaret, a librarian at Birmingham University, offered him one of her kidneys, and it appeared the 27-year-old's prayers had been answered.
A successful transplant would allow him to plan holidays with Kelly and mean he would finally be able to embark on a career as a primary school teacher.
Both dreams have had to be put on hold because of his strict dialysis regime of four three-and-half-hour sessions a week.
But last week, Mr Vaughan discovered it would not be NHS-funded.
Miss Hollier, aged 20, a student nurse who lives in Walsall, met Mr Vaughan while on placement at the hospital during one of his dialysis sessions in September 2003.
She said: "I was just wracking my brains for a ways to fundraise to help Alan, but it was my mum who suggested doing something on eBay.
"I never expected to raise anywhere near the #23,000 but if by doing this I raise awareness of the need for this operation to be funded, I will have done something."
Mr Vaughan was diagnosed with a rare condition which means his antibodies attack his kidneys. Because he has a different blood group to the rest of his family, a straightforward transplant is not possible.
University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the QE Hospital, has recently introduced a procedure that allows kidney transplants to be done when a donor and recipient have different blood types.
It involves "cleaning" the blood to remove antibodies from the recipient.
A spokesman said: "This procedure involves additional costs to those of a traditional kidney transplant. The decision of whether to fund these additional costs is taken by the West Midlands Specialised Services Group on behalf of primary care trusts."
Dr Daphne Austin, a consultant in public health on behalf of the West Midlands Specialised Services Commissioning Group, said: "We are in the process of determining of how best to provide the service, safely and efficiently and in the best interest of patients."