Daughter swimming the channel to raise awareness of organ donation after father's transplant

IRISH EXAMINER | Arlene Harris

HUNDREDS of people receive the ultimate gift of life every year in Ireland when they undergo organ transplant surgery. Organ Donor Awareness Week runs from April 2- 9, and the Irish Kidney Association wants to make the public aware of how someone’s life can be transformed by a donated organ.

Padraig Leader from Ballydesmond (on the border of Cork and Kerry) is one of these lucky recipients. Suffering from a rare condition since childhood, much of his life revolved around hospitals and dialysis machines until July of last year when his sister, Maura Angland, made the ultimate sacrifice and donated one of her kidneys to her younger brother.

“From a young age I was always getting headaches but wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my teens,” says the 56-year-old.

“After several examinations it was discovered that I had a rare auto immune disease called Pachymeningitis which caused me to have many health consequences, including renal failure.

“I started dialysis in 2012 which was a very difficult time particularly as I had to make a 100-mile round trip into Cork City to the hospital three times a week. After a while my wife (Mary) generously volunteered to be trained for the home haemodialysis therapy option as I was too unwell to be able to do it myself and I remained on dialysis at home until July 2015 when my sister Maura donated a kidney to me.” Proving the blood really is thicker than water, Maura and several other family members got tested to see which one would be a suitable donor for Padraig. Continue reading
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