One of Sligos best known sporting families has scored its greatest ever success -- a rare live donor kidney transplant between two brothers.The unique operation the first live donor transplant to be carried out in Ireland this year involved the donation of a kidney by 36 years old Adrian Kearins to his younger brother, Karl.The brothers, sons of legendarBy Jim Gray
One of Sligo’s best known sporting families has scored its greatest ever success -- a rare live donor kidney transplant between two brothers.
The unique operation – the first live donor transplant to be carried out in Ireland this year – involved the donation of a kidney by 36 years old Adrian Kearins to his younger brother, Karl.
The brothers, sons of legendary Sligo GAA personality, Michael Kearins from Dromard, and both serving members of An Garda Siochana, underwent the seven hour operation at Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital on Thursday last, and both are recovering exceptionally well.
"It’s a miracle", declared their mother, Frances yesterday. "I’m very proud and relieved. Karl’s life has been transformed".
Thirty-four years old Karl, a Dublin-based Garda detective, was diagnosed with acute renal failure in January 2005, and has been receiving dialysis treatment ever since, initially at home, and later at the Beacon Clinic in Sandyford, Dublin.
Despite going for dialysis treatment at 6 a.m. on three days every week, Karl never missed a day at work.
"The way you’d feel after dialysis was a bit like a heavy hang-over, and I’ve had plenty of those", he quipped.
But the former St. Patrick’s Dromard and Sligo county footballer always knew that the only long-term solution to his illness was a kidney transplant.
"About six months ago, both Adrian and my sister, Valerie, underwent some tests and both were a match. It was then up to them to decide whether they would be a donor, and I did not try to influence that decision in any way. Adrian decided himself that he would want to do it.
"It was a very brave decision for him to make, and it has certainly transformed my life. Even in the few days since the operation, I can tell that I will not be able to lead a fully normal life". Karl told The Sligo Champion.
Meanwhile, donor, Adrian, who is also a Garda, based in Co. Mayo, was playing down all talk of heroism.
"It was just something I decided I wanted to do. I had to give it some thought, but it wasn’t a hard decision. I will still be able to lead a normal life, but the difference is that so will my brother from now on", he said.
Normally, a donor’s recovery is expected to be slower than the recipient, but Adrian is already beginning to feel much better.
"The first day or two after the operation were tough, but I’m feeling fine now, well on the road to recovery. Up to the very last minute, they were giving me the option of pulling out, but it never crossed my mind. I’m just glad that it’s over and that it has been such a success", he said.