Enfield family tells how a transplant changed their lives

Story by Stephen Tormey

Thursday, 9th October, 2014 9:31am

Enfield family tells how a transplant changed their lives

Mary Kennedy with kidney transplant recipient Daire O’Haire and his mum, Ruth.

Five year-old Enfield native, Darragh O'Haire, stepped out with broadcaster Mary Kennedy recently to launch the Irish Kidney Association's annual family fun run, which will take place at Corkagh Park, Clondalkin, Dublin, on Saturday 18th October at 12 noon.

Darragh, from Johnstown Bridge, was born with underdeveloped kidneys and had been receiving nightly home dialysis treatment from just one year of age.

In February of last year, however, he received a deceased donor kidney transplant. His mother, Ruth, described this as a "life-changing" event as, prior to his transplant, Darragh was always fed through a tube.

"The transplant has made a huge difference to him. He is now as active as any other five year-old and he eats all around him," she said.

Having started school last year, Darragh and his family are now looking forward to a normal childhood without dialysis.

"Our extended family cannot express the immense gratitude we feel towards the family of the organ donor who we will never know but has changed our lives in such a profound way," added Ruth.

The annual 'Run For A Life' event offers members of the public the opportunity to support others like Darragh and the ongoing work of the Irish Kidney Association.

The event is a fun and healthy way for the public to show their support for a very worthy cause, according to Mary Kennedy, ambassador for organ donation 2014.

"I have known people who have been touched by organ donation. I think most people have known somebody who has suffered organ failure and how it has impacted on them and their loved ones," she said. "It can affect people of all ages. Children like Darragh, who prior to their transplant operations faced uncertain futures, can now look forward to a normal childhood thanks to organ donation."

People signing up for Run For A Life will have the option of walking, jogging or running competitively in either a chip-timed 2.5km, 5km or 10km event.

Further information can be found on www.runforalife.ie.

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