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Tag Archives: Irish Kidney Association

You don’t need sight to have vision

YOU don’t have to have sight to have vision. Those are the words of Lahinch woman Aine Mae O’Mahony, whose determination never to quit in the face of adversity provided inspiration to others at the national launch of the Irish Kidney Association’s Organ Donor Awareness Week. Aine Mae, who lost her sight in her twenties, was among those invited to speak about their health experiences at the launch, having undergone a double transplant last year. She received a kidney and pancreas and is enjoying a life without diabetes and dialysis, as a result of the gift of life given to her through organ donation. At the age of eight, Aine Mae was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. “There was not much known about diabetes at the time, nor any new developments in terms of its management and it was quite terrifying holding that syringe for the first time preparing to inject myself,” she recalled. At 25, she lost her eyesight …

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Strengthening family bonds with kidney donation

A GORT man, who donated a kidney to his brother, is organising an event in aid of the Irish Kidney Association this Saturday. This time last year, Gerry Quinn donated a kidney to his brother, John, after the latter had been on dialysis for more than a year. Kidney transplants where the donor is alive are still quite rare in Ireland, with only 50 taking place in 2016. The Quinn brothers’ story is a very positive one, in that there was a family member who was a match and willing to donate. Tragically, for hundreds of other dialysis patients across Ireland, they must await a phonecall relaying the news that someone has passed away before donation is possible. The lifespan of a kidney donated from a ‘foreign’ donor – a person who is not a family member – is usually between 10 and 15 years. A kidney donated from a family member is a much stronger match and will last longer. Indeed, …

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A thank you letter for gift of life

AN Inch widow has urged organ donor recipients to write a letter of acknowledgement or gratitude to their donor family. Marian Barry, Tullassa, was delighted to receive her first letter of gratitude from an organ recipient via Phyllis Cunningham, the national transplant co-ordinator, recently. Her husband, Christy, 39, died in 1989 from a massive aneurysm while he was out shooting with some friends leaving two young daughters, aged seven and a half and 11. He was taken to University College Hospital, Cork for emergency treatment. However, Marian recalls they were told at the time that even if they were at the gates of UCH, he would not have survived. His two kidneys and his eyes were donated after his death. A few weeks before her husband died, Marian watched an interview with a man on The Late Late Show, who spoke about how much a heart transplant had changed his whole life. Having seen the interview, she didn’t hesitate for …

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President to attend Kidney Association remembrance

President Michael D Higgins is to attend the Irish Kidney Association’s 29th Annual Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving at Galway Cathedral, on Saturday at 12.30pm to honour organ donors and their families. Following this event at a packed cathedral, the President will be the guest of honour at the Circle of Life national commemorative garden for organ donors in nearby Quincentennial Park, Salthill. Here songs, music, dance and poem recitals will be performed by people touched by organ donation. The Circle of Life, scheduled to begin at 2pm, is being organised by Martina and Denis Goggin, parents of organ donor, Éamonn and founders of the Strangeboat Donor Foundation. The inaugural Service in 1986 had an attendance of 300 people and since then the numbers have increased annually and, in recent years, over 2,000 people have attended from all over Ireland. The decision to hold the service in Galway is to provide those present, who attend the annual service, the opportunity …

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On the list for a new kidney almost five years

RUAN kidney dialysis patient, Mary Griffin was “shocked” when she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at the age of 57. The mother of six, who will be on dialysis five years at the end of April, is still waiting for that all-important call for a new kidney, which would utterly transform her quality of life. Urging people to support the annual Organ Donor Awareness Week campaign, which runs from March 29 to April 5, she also requested support for all fundraising activities undertaken by the Clare branch of the Irish Kidney Association (IKA). Two years before Ms Griffin was officially diagnosed, she wasn’t feeling, sleeping or eating well and was complaining about discomfort in her stomach. She underwent a number of tests  but they didn’t detect any stomach problems. In October 2008, she went into hospital and was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at St John’s Hospital, Limerick, due to getting kidney infections. Her kidneys were functioning at 33% …

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Kidney donation provides some comfort after tragic death of Barefield man

A BAREFIELD mother has revealed how her family has gained some comfort following the sudden tragic death of her husband, after his two kidneys were donated to a mother of six children. Bridie Purcell, of Ballyduff, Barefield, her son and three daughters were left devastated when Michael Purcell (67) died suddenly following an aneurysm in the brain on January 3, 2012. Affectionately known as Buddy, the father-of-four was  sorting a bale of silage with his friend, John Whelan, when he collapsed suddenly. Within an hour of babysitting her grandchildren, Bridie, who was 57 at the time, got a call to  leave the house, as Michael had been taken by ambulance. “I met him on the side of the road in an ambulance. I knew when I got into the ambulance that his eyes were dilated. Technically, he was on life support until they decided he was going downhill. “A team was waiting on standby at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin after …

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