I spent my childhood needling Paul, but he was my constant companion. And when I needed a kidney transplant this year, he was the first to volunteer

Late in the morning of 23 August, my brother and I were wheeled into adjoining operating theatres at the Royal Free hospital in London for a surgical procedure to splice a living part of his body – a healthy, shining kidney – with mine, making literal something I’ve always felt. He is part of me, as I am part of him. Our lives are entwined like vine and tree.

Not that I’ve always been thrilled about it. I remember feeling murderous when Paul first appeared – pretty unexpectedly, in my book – in my parents’ bedroom in Balham, south London, in June 1967. I was almost three. Who was this swaddled intruder, rattling our tiny house with his distress? How could my mummy be his mummy, too? And Daddy? Et tu, Brute? So, when the midwife gave me a red Dinky toy in consolation, the sense of offence stayed with me until after I graduated from college.

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".