Young woman inspires Late Late Show audience with powerful story about saving her fiancé's life
A young couple struck a chord with viewers of Friday’s Late Late Show after they shared their powerful experience with organ donation.
Young mum Aine O'Keeffe selflessly donated a kidney to her partner Ken Byrne in January after his kidneys began to fail due to a rare genetic condition.
The couple who are based in Westmeath appeared on the programme to speak about the life-changing impact the transplant has had on their lives, and the lives of their young family.
Speaking on the programme, mum-of-two Aine said after years of illness the only options open to Ken were transplant or dialysis, and she said getting tested to see if she was a match was a no-brainer.
"We were in with one of our meetings every three months with Peter Conlan the nephrologist in Beaumont and he said, 'You’ll need a transplant or dialysis simple as, that’s it'. And I just said 'Look can I not go forward for it?'
"He said, 'It’s not that simple'.
"It’s usually a blood relative. I said, 'Can we not try it and see and at least then I’ll know'.
"We pushed, pushed, pushed the whole way along. Usually it takes up to a year to get everything settled for the transplant but we got to do ours in January just from pushing and being nice.
"Everyone liked us an awful lot and it just went ahead very well," she said.
Ken received Aine’s kidney in January, and his body immediately responded well to the transplant.
The dad said the procedure has given him a new lease of life and is extremely grateful to be with "head-strong" Aine.
"I couldn’t keep up with my kids and it was horrible. I missed out on a lot of time with them. The transplant worked immediately, now I’m running around with them, out on the trampoline, out on rollerblades."
The couple are set to marry in October and Ken said while their story isn’t the typical romance, it is honest and real.
"It’s a story of romance, it’s honest. It’s genuine romance."
Today marks the beginning of the Irish Kidney Association's Organ Donor Awareness Week. For more information about becoming an organ donor or organ donation cards visit www.ika.ie or Freetext DONOR to 50050.