By writer to www.echolive.ie
West Cork lady, Fiona O’Donnell will mark the third anniversary of her kidney transplant this month, by participating in The Echo Digital Ladies’s Mini Marathon, together with her three youngsters, writes CHRIS DUNNE
“I’ve by no means appeared again,” says Fiona, who obtained the best reward of all from her greatest buddy — organ donation and the prospect to stay a full, lively and glad life.
Grainne O’Keefe, from Skibbereen, was there for her greatest buddy Fiona when she wanted a kidney transplant, which saved her life.
“After my kidney transplant on September 3, three years in the past, I assumed it could be a fast highway to restoration,” says Fiona, a member of Transplant Workforce Eire, who underwent a Dwelling Donor Kidney Transplant. “But it surely took me nearly a full yr to get again to regular.”
Now Fiona, who’s a efficiency nutritionist and a eager triathlon competitor, desires to provide one thing again.
“Doing the ‘6k Your Method’ Echo mini-marathon with Robert, Alahna and Ryan, in help of the Kidney Affiliation, is a becoming technique to mark the third anniversary of my kidney transplant and to boost consciousness for organ donation,” she stated.
Fiona, with a zest for all times, loves the nice vibe that the mini marathon creates yearly.
“Everyone seems to be so enthusiastic and so up for it,” say Fiona, who has by no means taken half within the race, however has marshalled on the occasion.
Are the O’Donnell youngsters made from sturdy mettle like their mom — who accomplished the Cork Metropolis Marathon not lengthy earlier than she was recognized with Main Glumerulonephritis? And regardless of struggling a damaged ankle throughout lockdown besides, continues to be raring to go on this yr’s mini marathon?
“The youngsters are all very sporty,” she says.
“Robert, aged 10, my youngest, is the runner. He loves operating.”
6km is not any downside to Robert.
“He’ll fly it,” says Fiona.
“It’ll be a straightforward trek for him.”
When Grainne, a mom of three and a sports activities fanatic, stepped as much as the plate to supply her buddy the reward of life, the 2 ladies went on a journey not like no different trek they’d been on earlier than.
“We had nice enjoyable in hospital,” says Grainne.
“It was plain crusing and we had a really sociable restoration!”
“Once I received examined, I assumed it is perhaps a distant chance that I’d be a match for Fiona,” says Grainne.
“When Beaumont Hospital confirmed that I used to be a match; I assumed, Jeez! What have I completed?”
Grainne did essentially the most magnificent factor anybody might ever do for a fellow human being, she gave Fiona a brand new lease of life.
“The kidney situation erupted out of the blue,” says Fiona.
“Once I was 16 weeks pregnant a biopsy confirmed that my kidney operate was progressively deteriorating. My ankles had been swollen, I had suspected oedema.”
She by no means realised she might be a kidney transplant sooner or later.
“I had a really wholesome way of life. It was simply a type of issues.”
Fiona and her medical crew labored collectively and managed her kidney situation nicely.
“Then I received a very unhealthy dose of flu which set me again,” says Fiona.
“I needed to go on a chemotherapy agent and hydro-steroids in a final ditch effort to spice up the immune system in order that the kidneys weren’t below assault. My thyroid took a dive too. And I used to be anaemic.”
The younger mom, knocked for six, discovered herself in unusual territory.
“It was a tough place to be,” says Fiona. “I had no urge for food and I received very skinny. I do business from home on-line and I ended working. I used to be simply flat. I had 5 blocks of power a day. By the point the youngsters had been gone to high school and I had dinner prepared, my power was zapped.”
The troops rowed in.
“The kids had been actually good to assist,” says Fiona.
“They discovered to make use of the espresso espresso machine and after I was mendacity on the sofa, they’d usually land in with a cup of espresso. The group of buddies I prepare with, operating, biking and swimming, had been incredible. We’re a decent group and we help one another. If I couldn’t swim, somebody would recommend a stroll on the seaside or a espresso and cake. That was at all times welcome!”
When the inevitable time got here for Fiona needing a kidney transplant after dialysis, she welcomed the volunteers who put their names ahead to donate the life-saving organ.
Grainne was a match.
“I requested her, ‘why would you’? says Fiona.
“Her response was, ‘why wouldn’t you?’ It was a completed deal.
“It was an incredible gesture,” provides Fiona. “You already know you may repay a buddy and do them a favour if the automotive breaks down or the youngsters want dropping to high school. However I don’t see how you may repay this down the road.”
Fiona accepted her buddy’s reward.
“It was a protracted course of,” says Fiona, recalling going the space again to well being.
“We needed to get examined time and again and grow to be acquainted with the medical crew.”
Going the space collectively, they weren’t going to go away one another behind.
“I bear in mind after I was assigned to my room at Beaumont Hospital there was an empty room reverse me,” says Fiona. “I requested might Grainne have that room?”
Fiona was forward of the posse.
“I knew she would demand it when she arrived. Positive sufficient, when Grainne was proven down the hall to her room, she instantly requested; isn’t that room free reverse Fiona?”
The kidney transplant operation was a complete success. Each ladies bounced again rapidly.
“The worst of it was, we spent a lot time laughing, we had been afraid we’d burst our stitches!” says Fiona.
“We had breakfast, lunch and dinner collectively in one another’s room.”
There have been rooms out there for different relations too.
“The Irish Kidney Affiliation Renal Help Centre, 100 metres stroll from the hospital, is a home the place my husband, Brian, and the kids might keep in addition to Grainne’s household,” explains Fiona.
“It’s a good facility, relieving the stress of getting to search out lodging and take care of Dublin site visitors,” says Fiona.
The buddies received again within the saddle.
“Grainne and I made a decision to start coaching once more,” says Fiona.
“I felt I might after 12 weeks.”
She walked earlier than she might run.
“At the beginning, I walked at a snail’s tempo, increase the space daily doing 10 steps extra,” says Fiona.
“Sure, it was a really gradual course of. I did yoga and physiotherapy to assist support my physique within the restoration course of.”
She was going for gold.
“Once I might do 12 pelvic tilts, I assumed I used to be prepared for the Olympics!”
The duo even took half in within the Schull Triathlon collectively.
“It was a major occasion for us, like no different,” says Grainne.
Fiona is nicely over the road now three years since her kidney transplant.
“Life is nice,” she says. “I’m again coaching and again working. I’m trying ahead to supporting the Irish Kidney Affiliation, doing the The Echo Digital Ladies’s Min-Marathon with the youngsters.”
The troops are eager to do the trek with their mom.
“We’ll head to Inchydoney after which to Castlefreke.”
There’s a carrot ready on the finish of the 6km.
“Vacation spot Lengthy Strand for fish and chips on the Fish Basket!”
— to www.echolive.ie