Kidney transplant recipient Colette Hawe from Charleville celebrates the birth of her healthy baby girl Croía at CUMH. Photos: John Allen

Kidney transplant woman gives birth just in time for Mother’s Day

As Mother’s Day approaches, a Cork woman has described her long and difficult journey from the depths of kidney disease diagnosis to the joy of motherhood.

Colette Hawe, 37, from Charleville, and her partner Morgan Lyons, recently welcomed their baby girl into the world. Diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) at the age of 24, Colette then faced nearly a decade of uncertainty and worry about her health and the chance of ever becoming a mother.

However, her journey took a turn for the better in January 2020 when she underwent a kidney transplant, paving the way for her to pursue her dream of starting a


A fortnight before Mother’s Day, at 34 weeks gestation, Colette gave birth to Croía (Little Heart), a healthy baby girl who weighed in at 2 kilos (4.41 pounds). As a pre-term baby, Croía was briefly monitored in CUH’s neonatal ward. She is now thriving and is expected to join her parents at home in time for Mother’s Day this Sunday.

Consultant nephrologist, Prof. Liam Plant, who has been at Colette’s side ever since her kidney disease diagnosis, is set to retire later this month. Baby Croía is the happy culmination of the last pregnancy of a renal patient he will have managed. Throughout his career he has contributed to the safe journey towards birth of more than 50 babies for kidney transplant patient mothers.

Colette praised Prof. Plant and his colleagues at CUH for their invaluable guidance and support in managing her illness.

She said: “Our baby is truly a miracle, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude. For a long time I faced uncertainty of ever being able to have a successful pregnancy with my kidney disease and not knowing if I would end up on dialysis and how long I’d be on the waiting list for a transplant.

“Prof. Plant diagnosed my chronic kidney disease in 2014 following a referral from my GP to investigate if my two closely timed flare ups with gout were kidney related. Since then, Prof Plant has been more than a doctor to me; he has been a guardian angel.

“His retirement next week will mark the end of an era, but I am forever grateful for his unwavering support. Croía now holds the title of being Prof Plant’s last kidney baby before he retires, and we are happy for her to have that special title!”

Colette also heaped praise on consultant nephrologist Dr Saran Moran; renal nurse Phil O’Driscoll, Dr Ora Kgosidialwa who guided Colette through her gestational diabetes; and consultant obstetrician Prof Nóirín Russell and her team at CUMH.

Colette also expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the family of the deceased organ donor whose selfless gift made her transplant possible.

“I am eternally grateful to the donor and their family for giving me a second chance at life and the opportunity to become a mother. They have left an incredible legacy with their gift of life to me and my family and now the circle of life continues with Croía,” said Colette.

She added: “I want to give special mention to my amazing partner Morgan who has known me since before I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and he has been a rock of support, and now I know he will be a wonderful father.”

Colette is calling on the public to acknowledge World Kidney Day which takes place on Thursday 14 March

“With World Kidney Day taking place next week, it’s a good time to remember the important work the Irish Kidney Association does in raising awareness about kidney health and supporting thousands of patients like me,” said Colette.

Consultant nephrologist, Prof Liam Plant, said: “One of the greatest privileges of my professional life has been to participate in the joyful event of mothers with renal transplants being able to have a baby. Few events more powerfully illustrate the remarkable gift that organ donation represents. All new babies are special, but few are as special as these. Their births are a testament to the amazing resilience of patients with kidney disease and their families.”

World Kidney Day on 14 March, is a global initiative aimed at promoting kidney health. With an estimated 1 in 10 people and 1 in 7 over the age of 50 in Ireland having chronic kidney disease, (and many are unaware they have it), the Irish Kidney Association’s campaign in partnership with the HSE National Renal Office, focuses on the importance of health screening and early detection of CKD in slowing down its progression. The campaign also aims to highlight how diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease are linked to CKD and vice versa.

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Colette Hawe and baby Croía with consultant nephrologist Dr Sarah Moran; neonatal nurse Limya Rajan, consultant nephrologist Prof Liam Plant, Croía’s father Morgan; consultant obstetrician Prof Nóirín Russell; and grandparents Angela and Richard Hawe.
Croía’s father Morgan Lyons, new mum Colette Hawe and her baby Croía with grandparents Angela and Richard Hawe.