Beautiful twenty-one-year old woman enjoys a new lease of life

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
Beautiful twenty-one-year old woman enjoys a new lease of life

This beautiful twenty one year old woman is now enjoying a holiday abroad at the beginning of Organ Donor Awareness Week which runs until April 9.

Laura Dolan, an only child from Glenageary, Dublin received a liver transplant in September 2015 at St Vincent's University Hospital.

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

Laura explained “I was diagnosed with auto immune hepatitis when I was in transition year at school and became a patient at Crumlin Hospital,” she recalled. “I missed a lot of school in the lead up to my diagnosis and afterwards. When my liver disease took hold a couple years ago I had to defer going to college.

“Thanks to my donor, I am now studying childcare which I am really enjoying. My transplant has given me my life back and my freedom as it is such a change from being so sick. I am so grateful to my donor for this wonderful gift.”

Laura's was one of 61 liver transplants which took place at St Vincent's Hospital last year.

There are approximately 550 people in Ireland awaiting lifesaving heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas transplants. Thanks to the gift of organ donation well over 3000 people in Ireland are enjoying extended life.

St. Vincent’s Hospital conducted 61 liver transplants in 2015. The Mater Hospital conducted a record 36 lung transplants as well as 16 heart transplants in 2015 and Beaumont Hospital carried out 153 kidney transplants including 33 from living donors.

Organ Donor Awareness Week 2016 (2-9 April) is organised by the Irish Kidney Association. The campaign will feature RTÉ News Anchor and Courts correspondent Vivienne Traynor in radio advertising as well as on posters encouraging the public to support organ donation.

Vivienne witnessed 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.”

The focus of Organ Donor Awareness Week is to raise awareness about the ongoing and ever increasing demand for organ transplantation which relies on the public for organ donation. 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% of its funds are generated from the public. Throughout the week  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.

All proceeds will go towards the Irish Kidney Association’s aid for patients on dialysis and those patients fortunate enough to have received a kidney transplant

The Irish Kidney Association’s charitable activities include the provision of a 13 double bedroom free accommodation facility for patients and their families in the grounds of Beaumont Hospital and holiday centres located in Tramore and Kerry, together with patient advocacy, advice, financial aid and rehabilitative, health promotion through sport and the provision of kidney patient information and education. 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.