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Kidney transplant recipient urges Clare people to carry donor cards

A KILDYSART kidney transplant recipient has urged Clare people to carry a donor card to help reduce the waiting times for patients suffering from renal failure.
Lisa Moloney issued her appeal before the European Day for Organ Donor Awareness this Sunday.
After spending two years on a waiting list, the 24-year-old had a kidney transplant operation in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin last June.
Ms Moloney told The Clare Champion she was delighted to get the transplant and was very grateful to the donor family for their generosity.
She knew there was something seriously wrong when she lost the power in her right leg and experienced difficulty walking in February 2006. Subsequent tests revealed her two kidneys were failing.
Since the unexpected discovery, she endured an extremely difficult time trying to cope with serious illnesses and recovering from 13 different operations carried out in Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick.
One of the hardest parts was the ongoing waiting game as she had no idea when a suitable donor would become available.
Her initial haemodialysis treatment had to be undertaken at the Wellstone Clinic in Galway due to a lack of capacity in the Mid-West and this involved a two-hour taxi trip from her home in Glencanane, about two miles from Kildysart, in the knowledge that she faced another two hours travelling home.
Last November, the amount of time she spent travelling for dialysis in hospital was reduced to 50 minutes for a one-way trip to the regional renal unit in Limerick when capacity became available.
Two years ago, she started on home dialysis but had to give it up due to an adverse reaction and had to take up haemodialysis again.
“When you are on a waiting list, you don’t know when a suitable donor will become available. It is great to be finished with the haemodialysis; it was a great inconvenience at the time.
“The transplant operation has given me a new quality of life and I find I have a lot more energy. It has also helped to improve my sleep patterns,” she said.
According to official figures, there are 118 patients receiving haemodialysis in the Mid-West, 24 of whom are from Clare. Fifteen kidney patients are obtaining home dialysis and seven of these are from the Banner County while there are another 16 pre-dialysis patients from the Mid-West on a list.
Speaking at a recent national service of remembrance, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said that donor families could hold their heads high for the marvellous gift of life they had given recipients.
The treasurer of the Clare branch of the Irish Kidney Association (IKA), Peggy Eustace noted that while medical advances had facilitated living organ donation, there was still a big demand for heart, lungs, kidney and other organs.
Her son, Patrick, described organ donation as the “greatest gift man can give to mankind” after he had a successful kidney operation.
Ms Eustace said donor families in Clare are greatly appreciated for their generosity but noted that more transplants were needed because people were living longer. She pointed out the IKA provides help and support to newly diagnosed patients who are shocked to learn they have chronic kidney disease.
The Clare branch, which was founded by a number of people throughout the county, is celebrating its 20th anniversary later this year.
There are over 30 transplant recipients in Clare some of whom have received two organs.

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