Life-changing transplant recipient speaks of importance of donor cards

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A father of four who received his life changing kidney transplant in November last has said that it was only when he was diagnosed himself that he realised how important it was that people carry an organ donor card.

35 years-old Patrick Cleary from Kilglass in west Sligo said: “Before I had my own problems I did not have a donor card and neither did my wife. It’s only when it comes to your own doorstep that you realise how important it is.”

For Patrick that coming to his own doorstep was a shocking experience.

In 2006 he began to experience headaches and after undergoing tests it was revealed he had very high creatinine levels which signalled his kidneys were failing.

This was managed through medication for four years until his kidney function declined further requiring him to commence dialysis treatment.

“But in 2013 I was told that I would have to go on dialysis and I decided that I would go on home dialysis so that I could keep working”, Patrick said.

“I would have to go to bed at 9.15pm and I was hooked up the machine until I got up at 7.15pm”.

He found this very tiring and it affected his family life with his wife and four young girls who range in ages from 5 to 13 years.

So it was a dream come through when he got the call last November that he was to have the transplant.

But he almost didn’t take the phone call.

For the full interview, see this week’s Sligo Weekender newspaper. In shops now.

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