Thanks for ma kidney
A grateful Cork man who received a kidney transplant from his donor mother had more reason than most to show his appreciation this Mother’s Day.
Neil Coleman, 30, from Charleville’s shock diagnosis of kidney failure came in 2018 when he was just 25, after years of struggling with tiredness and lack of concentration.
He said: “To attempt to express my gratitude through words would be a disservice to the immeasurable gift my mam has given.
“I’m alive today due to her selfless donation and words will always fall short of how that really makes me feel.”
Neil’s mum Marion, a native of Churchtown in Dublin, is a grandmother of 2 and was 62 years old when she donated one of her kidneys to Neil, her youngest of 3 sons, on 13 September 2021.
“While a group of family members and friends stepped forward wanting to donate a kidney to me, my mam was first in line,” continued Neil.
“This Sunday will not only be a treat for my mam, but It will be the first Mother’s Day in quite a few years where I feel I am fully myself and not a grumpy son, and I have her to thank for that,” he added.
Marion and Neil are sharing their story to highlight the importance of organ donation for transplantation.
The operation took place at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin and Neil had to stay in isolation for 3 months afterwards as the Covid-19 pandemic raged on.
2 days after the operation, Neil and Marion, who were in separate rooms in a ward for isolating patients, reunited with a warm embrace.
Prior to the transplant operation, Marion was determined to lose weight and undertook a strict diet and exercise regime. In contrast, Neil struggled to gain weight as it had plummeted by 24kg to just 56kg by the time the transplant operation happened.
Neil, who had his own kidney removed when he was 7 years old, said: “It’s not so much the embrace that has stuck with me, but rather chatting to my mother while I was still bedridden and the immense feeling of relief that came with that experience - knowing that she was alright, and everything went fine with both of our operations.”
He added: “Waking up for the first time after the operation was as though I had come out of a horrible nightmare and all of a sudden, every last worry had melted away.
“My thoughts were clear and deliberate, I could feel an alertness I had never realised I was missing in the first place. I felt like I was me again.”
Neil described the contrast between how he was before and after the transplant.
He said: “I feel like a different person, I am no longer tired, suffering from exhaustion, and I can concentrate my mind. I am back studying computer science at UL and back training in the gym 3 to 4 times a week.
“Although my diet is complicated by the fact that I am allergic to both dairy and soy, my mother has been a powerhouse of support,” concluded Neil.
Organ donor cards can be requested by visiting ika.ie/get-a-donor-card or by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01-6205306 or free text the word DONOR to 50050.