A transplant recipient is urging people to discuss organ donation with their families in the hope that more lives can be saved.
Grandmother Mary Rooney from Noremount in the city is sharing her transplant story to encourage people to support the Irish Kidney Association’s Organ Donor Awareness Week 2016 which takes place from Apri) 2 to 9.
Mary and two of her brothers, one since deceased, experienced their quality of lives improve greatly following their kidney transplants thanks to the generosity of families of deceased organ donors.
The siblings have a hereditary condition called Amyloidosis which can impair the kidney function causing the organ to eventually fail.
Mary’s kidney function is beginning to fail again and she will require another transplant in the future but she remains positive and thankful for the transplant she received 11 years ago which gave her a second chance at life.
“I am so grateful to the deceased organ donor who gave me the gift of life 11 years ago when I was struggling with my kidney failure. I was feeling very sick for a least two years before my life changing transplant.
“I had no energy and spent a lot of time sick in bed. I was so weak I had to give up work. I also had a very restricted diet. My husband Gerry and the family rallied around and were very supportive.”
“Within days of receiving my transplant I felt I had been given a new lease of life.
“I was able to walk properly again, the colour in my cheeks came back and I generally felt more energetic and could look forward to the future.
“Thanks to my donor I really enjoy spending time with my five grandchildren who range in age from 4 to 12. I also take tremendous pleasure in gardening which is something I would not have had the energy for prior to my successful transplant,” she said.
“I am a member of the Kilkenny branch of the Irish Kidney Association. I would encourage the public to support Organ Donor Awareness Week by having a family discussion about organ donation.
“It is such a selfless thing to do but can save the lives of so many people with organ failure.
“I will be wearing my forget-me-not flower which is the symbol of transplantation and will be on sale by Irish Kidney Association volunteers during Organ Donor Awareness Week,” she added.
IKA volunteers will be distributing organ donor cards and selling forget me not flower emblems at Super Valu, Aldi and at St Johns Green in Kilkenny during Organ Donor Awareness Week on April 7.
They will be bag packing at the two stores on the same day aswell as on April 8.