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  • Northside East

Ben is forever grateful to his organ donor 

Sunday, 7th April, 2019 9:00am
Ben is forever grateful to his organ donor 

Ben Gaughran (left) pictured with Patricia and Colin McKenzie, from Portmarnock, at the IKA Annual Service of Remembrance & Thanksgiving for Organ Donors and Transplant Recipients.

Ben is forever grateful to his organ donor 

Ben Gaughran (left) pictured with Patricia and Colin McKenzie, from Portmarnock, at the IKA Annual Service of Remembrance & Thanksgiving for Organ Donors and Transplant Recipients.

BEN Gaughran (77), from Skerries, underwent a kidney transplant eight years ago in May. 

Prior to his life-changing transplant he underwent haemodialysis treatment at Beaumont Hospital for five years, three times a week for four hours at a time. 

The retired merchant seaman and fisherman had no idea that his kidney function was failing until he was in hospital for another procedure and blood tests showed up his kidney problem. 

A renal consultant came to his hospital bed to tell him that he was close to renal failure. Some months later he began dialysis treatment.  

The treatment worked quite well for him but he says “dialysis can take a lot out of you” and you don’t feel your best and have less energy and it can be very restrictive as it’s difficult to travel while on it and your diet and fluid is restricted also. 

Ben did manage to get to Tenerife on a few occasions but it took a lot of planning and he had to arrange to undergo dialysis treatment while on holiday.

This was in contrast to all the travelling around the world which Ben did when he worked as a merchant seaman transporting cargo. 

He also worked as a fisherman. Since his transplant he has renewed energy and enjoys cycling and continues to play badminton which he played competitively years before he became ill. 

He enjoys almost yearly trips with his wife Pauline to visit friends in Canada. Ben had always led a healthy life, a non-smoker and didn’t drink alcohol, and he trained regularly, cycling, running as well as playing competitive badminton.

While a dialysis patient Ben was to take part in the 2010 in the European transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships competing in the Cycling and Badminton events. 

Unfortunately, though, he broke his Achilles tendon while training on the track with other members of transplant team Ireland, causing him to have to pull out of the games. He hopes to be a part of Transplant Team Ireland at the European Championships which will be held in Dublin in August 2020.

Speaking at the launch of Organ Donor Awareness Week, which runs until April 6, Ben said: “I regularly think of my donor who gave me a new lease of life and I will always be grateful to him or her. 

“When I was called for my transplant I met a lady who was also called on the same night for the other donor kidney and when she woke up you could see the difference in her as she looked so much better.”

•Organ Donor Cards can also be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01-6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. Visit www.ika.ie/card Also, you can now download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone. 

 

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