A YOUNG Sligo man is giving his mother a rather special gift this Christmas. Alan Healy (26) is donating a kidney to his mother, Helena.
For 18 months, Helena has been undergoing dialysis, for eight hours every night.
Hopefully this will stop after January, when the operation takes place.
Alan, from Glencar, said: "Mum has been sick for a few years. I was tested to see if I was a possible match for a kidney transplant.
"That was a year ago. I was found to be the same blood type, but they also had to make sure that I was a tissue match."
He underwent tests in Beaumont Hospital, including ultra sounds, ECGs and scans.
Alan said: "It's great that I can help my mum. She gave me life. The question never occurred about not considering the transplant. It was always going to happen. I'm not worrying," he added.
Surprisingly, his dad was tested too and was a possible match, but Alan was deemed a more suitable one.
His younger sister, Lorraine (23) was going to undergo tests if Alan wasn't selected.
Alan explained that he has to watch his diet and try to stay healthy before the operation.
This isn't much of a problem for the trainee accountant. "I try and keep fit anyhow and play soccer with friends."
After the operation, Alan will be recovering at home for a few months.
The family have got together with the Sligo Kidney Association to organise a Christmas Day swim at the Glencar Lakehouse, which Alan hopes will become an annual event.