An Offaly man has discussed how a kideny plant both saved and changed his life forever to mark Organ Donor Awareness Week 2019.
The week is organised by the Irish Kidney Association and takes place from March 30 until April 6.
Tullamore man Dermot Glynn underwent his life-changing kidney transplant in 2013 following two and a half years of receiving dialysis treatment at the Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore.
Dermot spoke after chairman of Offaly County Council Cllr. Danny Owens officially launched Organ Donor Awareness Week 2019 in Offaly at the Tullamore Court Hotel on Thursday, March 28.
The father of teenage twins explained, "thanks to my kidney donor my life took a complete change for the better. I could work part-time and I was also able to go back to college and attain a Degree in Environmental Health and Safety from AIT in 2017."
"I then went on to set up my own consultancy business in health and safety management. I really enjoy travelling to different companies around the country to give training in health and safety and manual handling. I will also be qualified to give first aid courses in the near future," Dermot explained.
"Since my transplant, I have become a national officer to the Irish Kidney Association board and I have continued to be an active member of the Offaly branch of the organisation which supports and advocates for kidney patients and their families."
"I also have organised talks about kidney health and transplantation for TY students in some local schools. The local dialysis unit has invited me to collaborate with them by giving talks about my personal health experience as part of a kidney health programme they hope to develop and roll out to local schools in the next year or so."
"Were it not for my kidney donor and their family I would not have been able to return to the workforce, change my career direction, plan for myself and my family's future. I am embracing the transformational gift of life my donor has given me."
Organ Donor Awareness Week 2019 which is organised by the Irish Kidney Association, will take place from March 30 until April 6.
There are approximately 550 people in Ireland awaiting life-saving heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas transplants. Thanks to the gift of organ donation almost 4,000 transplanted people in Ireland are enjoying extended life.
The focus of Organ Donor Awareness Week is to remind individuals to talk to their families about their organ donation wishes and keep the reminders of their decision visible by carrying the organ donor card and permitting Code 115 to be included on their driver’s license or downloading the ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to their smartphone.
Organ Donor Awareness Week also serves as a fundraising exercise for the Irish Kidney Association. Throughout the week, the association’s volunteers will be out on the streets, and in shopping centres throughout the country, distributing organ donor cards while selling forget-me-not-flower emblems, brooches, pens and shopping trolley discs. All proceeds go towards the Irish Kidney Association’s support 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 plans for the development of a similar facility at Cork University Hospital are underway. Patients, many who would otherwise be unable to travel and take family holidays due to the constraints of dialysis treatment, can avail of IKA holiday centres located in Tramore, Killarney and Tralee.
The Irish Kidney Association also provides patient advocacy, advice, counselling, financial aid and rehabilitative, health promotion through sport and the provision of kidney patient information and education through its head office in Dublin and its 25-branch network of volunteers nationwide.
Information fact files, which accompany the free organ donor cards, are obtainable from the Irish Kidney Association and are available nationwide from pharmacies, GP surgeries and post offices.
Organ Donor Cards can also be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association tel. 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. Visit website www.ika.ie/get-a-donor-card. You can now download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone.