AN IRISH woman who was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in Britain last year in recognition of her charity work has donated a kidney to her sister.
Margaret Moylan (57), originally from Ballycroy in Co Mayo but living in Emsworth, Hampshire, in Britain, donated a kidney to her sister Rose who was suffering from kidney failure.
Margaret moved to Britain when she was just 17, following her older sister Rose who had moved over years earlier. The community worker was rewarded for her charity work last year when she was chosen to carry the Olympic torch through Abbotsbury in the south of England.
After years of working for local cancer charities, she was nominated to become a torch bearer by work colleagues at Tesco.
"It was a fantastic experience – it rained the whole time but it was just wonderful. It's still quite amazing actually," she said.
However, despite years of charity work in the community, Margaret was determined to help a little closer to home when her sister Rose needed a kidney transplant.
"She had been ill for seven years and as it got worse I told her I wanted to donate my kidney. The only thing that worried me was that I might not be a match. But when they discovered I was it was fantastic. I wasn't worried at all," she said.
The operation took place in London in September. By then, Rose's kidney function was down to just 9pc and had reached a critical stage. However, the procedure was a complete success and both women are recovering well.
"I spent five days in the hospital and that was that. Now I just have to take it easy and no heavy lifting. I would recommend anyone to do it.
"Rose is doing really really well. She has new energy and she walks every day now. It has changed her life," added Margaret.