Doctor who received kidney from fellow GP: ‘I didn’t realise how unwell I was but I feel so much better now’

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Dr. Ruth Smith and Dr. Noel Howard in the Circle of Life Garden in Salthill Village. Photo: Andrew Downes
A Galway doctor went above and beyond the call of duty to help his patient – a fellow doctor, writes Stephen Barry.

Dr. Noel Howard (39) and Dr. Ruth Smith (46), originally from Douglas, Cork, have been working together in Salthill, Galway for close to a decade, while their personal lives have come to overlap with each having three young children.

So when Dr Smith told her colleague that her Chronic Kidney Disease, which she’d managed for two decades, was forcing her to undergo peritoneal dialysis, he made her a life-changing offer.

Dr. Smith tells the story: “At the beginning of last year, I started to undergo peritoneal dialysis which I took through the night for eight hours at a time. I did worry about the unknown, how my kidney condition would progress and that if I became very ill, how it might impact on my family life and financial obligations which my husband and myself were committed to. However we were optimistic and getting on with life.

“Within weeks of me telling Noel that I would be going on dialysis and need a kidney transplant, Noel and his wife Róisín had reached a decision together and told me that Noel would go forward to be screened for living donation. Continue reading
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