A Glencar man’s decision to donate of one of his kidneys to his sick mother had led to over 400 requests to the Irish Kidney Association for donor cards after their story featured in the national media on Monday.
Twenty-six year old Alan Healy will travel to Beaumont Hospital later this week for the transplant of the kidney to his mother Helena and was featured in the Leitrim Observer last December when the story of Alan’s remarkable gesture was publicised.
Extensive coverage in the national Press and on RTE’s Six One news on Monday prompted The Irish Kidney Association to write on their Facebook page “Wow! Almost 400 donor card requests via our Freetext number as a result of yesterday’s coverage of the Healy story. The piece on the Six One news had the biggest impact!”
Trainee accountant Alan (26), who faces at least three months’ recovery after the operation, told the national media “Once it was found that my kidneys were the closest match for my mother, I knew I was going to do it.”
Helena (50) explained that her kidneys began to deteriorate in 1996 after taking medication for a minor complaint - “The closer the match the longer the transplanted kidney will last, so Alan insisted on being the donor. I would much rather that I was a donor for my son but Alan is very cool about it.”
The transplant will mean that, for a while, Alan will give up his weekend five-a-side tournaments with friends at the local AstroTurf centre.
Both mother and son decided to speak out about next week’s operation because they are keen to help promote the Irish Kidney Association’s search for donors.
Anybody who wishes to be a donor can text ‘donor’ on their mobile phones to 50050 for an organ-donor card.