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  • Southside

Playing the waiting game

Wednesday, 6th April, 2016 8:00am
Playing the waiting game
Playing the waiting gameView More Images

A SOUTHSIDE woman is going through 10 hours of dialysis treatment every night, as she waits on a suitable kidney to come through the organ donation system.

Janice Moran, from Drimnagh, was diagnosed with kidney failure in January of last year after being unwell over prolonged periods for a few years.

“I went in on a Friday and they told me that if I hadn’t come in when I did, that I would have been found dead on the Sunday,” Janice recalls.

Since then, Janice (27) has been hooked up the dialysis machine every single night.

The treatment itself leaves her “very uncomfortable, nauseous and tired” and also limits her daily activity.

Janice worked as a receptionist and a hairdresser before her diagnosis, but was forced to give up working.

She has also been unable to get away on holidays since her diagnosis, as the machine itself isn’t mobile.

She is now waiting for a suitable kidney to come in, and isn’t sure how long she will be waiting.

“It really depends,” she added. “I’ve talked to some people who have been waiting for 10 years, and to others who have been waiting for two.”

Until a suitable donor comes along Janice will continue with the treatment, and is expecting to do so for at least another year.

Janice’s story was highlighted as Minister for Health Leo Varadkar officially launched the Irish Kidney Association’s Organ Donor Awareness Week 2016 (April 2 to 9) at the Mansion House.

There he met members of the organ donation and transplant community including medical staff, patient advocate groups and patients.

The Irish Kidney Association (IKA) while applauding the transplant programmes for kidney, heart, lung and liver, claimed there is an urgent need for a second kidney transplanting hospital to meet the spiralling demand for transplants and to combat a massive future strain on the exchequer. 

Predicting that the figures of 2,000 people currently on dialysis now will reach 3,000 in 10 years’ time the IKA said this will result in an estimated additional cost of €50 million per year.

The Organ Donor Awareness Week 2016 campaign features RTÉ News anchor and courts correspondent, Vivienne Traynor, who witnessed at first-hand the whole process of organ donation and transplantation from a deceased donor for her nephew Martin in November 2014.

She explained that this was a very different experience from five years previously when she was a living kidney donor to him.  She said: “I was touched that a family in the midst of all their grief took the time to consider someone else. The kindness of strangers meant so much to us.”

Another Southsider, Laura Dolan (21), an only child from Glenageary, received her liver transplant in September last year at St Vincent’s University Hospital.

She had been on the liver transplant waiting list for 10 months since November 2014.

She was diagnosed with auto immune hepatitis when she was in Transition year at school and was a patient at Crumlin Hospital. She missed a lot of school in the lead up to and following her diagnosis.

However, she still managed to secure her first choice in her CAO application for a place at the IADT in 2012.

And even though her illness caused her having to defer college for a year when she returned she switched to a course in Childcare in Sallynoggin which she still has a year to complete.

She is very grateful to the family of her deceased organ donor. 

The focus of Organ Donor Week is to raise awareness about the ongoing and ever increasing demand for organ transplantation, which relies on the public.

Its key message is that families need to talk and keep the reminders of their willingness to donate visible by carrying the organ donor card, downloading the Smartphone App and permitting Code 115 to be included on their driver’s license.

Organ Donor Awareness Week also serves as a fundraising exercise for the Irish Kidney Association as 74 per cent of its funds are generated from the public. Throughout the week the association’s volunteers will be out on the streets, and in shopping centres throughout the country selling ‘forget-me-not-flower’ emblems, brooches, pens and shopping trolley discs.

The IKA has introduced another fundraising technique.

You can text ‘kidney’ to 50300 and €2 will be donated from your mobile phone account to the IKA. 

Free information fact files, which accompany organ donor cards, are obtainable from the Irish Kidney Association and are available nationwide from pharmacies, GP surgeries and Citizen Information Offices.

Organ Donor Cards can also be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association  LoCall 1890 543639 or Freetext the word DONOR to 50050.

Visit the website    

It is now also possible to store an organ donor card, the ‘ecard’ on Smart mobile phones.

Eoin Lúc Ó Ceallaigh

Janice Morgan pictured at the launch of the Irish Kidney Association’s Organ Donor Awareness Week 2016 at the Mansion House. PHOTO: CONOR MCCABE Laura Dolan, from Glenageary.

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