A YOUNG student from Whitefield went into hospital for surgery — and discovered she had four kidneys.

Jessica Curphey, aged 20, spent five months in hospital but is now recovering well from her ordeal.

The former Philips High pupil fell ill around Easter time last year, which resulted in her going into hospital to have a kidney removed.

Stunned doctors removed a damaged kidney and noticed three others, all healthy and fully functioning.

Experts said the condition is “exceptionally rare” and Jessica said she is never shy of telling new people about her ‘bonus’ organ, and is now helping to fundraise for kidney research.

“It’s quite fun watching how people react when you tell them that you’ve got an extra kidney,” said the University of Creative Arts fashion student, who is based in Epsom, Surrey.

Consultant urological surgeon Robyn Webber, of NHS Fife, said: “Having three kidneys on a single side of the body is exceptionally rare. There are perhaps fewer than 100 cases described in textbooks and papers.”

Jessica’s hospital drama began in April, 2012, when she fell ill. A scan detected what doctors believed to be a cyst — 17cm in diameter — on her right kidney.

Many tests and 11 days later, doctors found that it was actually a third kidney.It was so damaged, surgeons removed it last June — they then found a fourth kidney too.

While spending five months in hospital, Jessica suffered severe pneumonia and overcame several complications.

Jessica, who said she might consider donating her extra kidney, and wants to give blood, said: “It was a difficult exper-ience but I was looked after and I’ve come through it the other end and looking forward to the future.”

Mum Alison said: “We really want to give something back by raising money for Kidney Research UK.”

The family is hosting a fundraising party on Saturday and tickets cost £5. Email alicurphey@gmail.com.