It is a long way to Tipperary when your ailing father needs a kidney transplant so Darren Martin decided against going to Austria to pursue a master’s degree in German so he could perform the ultimate altruistic deed.
Darren, 25, from Templederry, Co Tipperary, stayed at home so he could be tested to see if he could donate one of his kidneys to his father Liam. Their living donor transplant took place on April 13 last year.
“I was worried about my father as his health had been declining,” said Darren, who works in commercial finance with the Kerry Group at its Naas office in Co Kildare.
Despite being on a form of home dialysis treatment for 10 hours every night since December 2010, Liam managed to keep working on the family farm.
However, after developing a severe infection in March 2014, Liam had to change to hospital dialysis which involved travelling to Limerick three times a week.
Darren said his father was already suffering from tiredness and managing the farm had become a struggle: “I decided not to go to university in Austria as I would have been too far away from Tipperary to help my father out and offer support to my mother and younger brother.”
Just before Liam started hospital dialysis treatment Darren told him he wanted to donate one of his kidneys.
The transplant operation was carried out at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin last April and both men made a quick recovery from the procedure and went back to work.
Darren and Liam’s living kidney transplant was one of 33 that took place at Beaumont Hospital last year.
They wanted to share their story to help create awareness about the importance of organ donation in Organ Donation Awareness Week from April 2 to 9.
Around 550 people in Ireland are awaiting life-saving heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas transplants. Organ donation has allowed over 3,000 people to have an extended life.
An organ-donor card, called the ‘ecard’, can be stored on smart mobile phones.
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