This farmer's life was transformed by a kidney transplant - Now he’s giving something back
'I'm really grateful and I haven't looked back since." That's how 19-year-old farmer Sean Vaughan describes his life since receiving an organ donation for kidney failure in 2016.
From a young age, Sean always enjoyed helping his dad John out on their family suckler farm, but in 2014, during the middle of fourth year in secondary school, he was shocked when he was diagnosed with kidney failure.
"I just started to have less energy on the farm in the evenings and began to get lots of headaches, so I went to my local doctor and was then sent to hospital in Limerick and diagnosed with kidney failure," he says.
"I was shocked. I didn't have much time to think about it. Doctors said I'd very high blood pressure so that could've been the reason for it."
While studying for his Leaving Certificate he travelled with his parents, John and Bernie to University Hospital Limerick three times a week so that he could undergo dialysis.
"I tried to do home dialysis for a while but it just didn't work out as there were different complications. The days after coming off dialysis you'd be very tired and coming up to the next dialysis you'd feel your energy dropping again. I used to study with my books in the hospital," he says.
None of Sean's family were a successful kidney match but in 2016 he was taken aback when he got the call from Beaumont Hospital in Dublin that they could have a match for him.
"I really wasn't expecting the call. I tried not to think about when I would get the call, there was no point because some people have to wait for years for a transplant and sometimes they're not successful," he says.