Saturday 21 April 2018

Teenager who had first paediatric kidney transplant ever in Temple Street hospital returns to hospital to celebrate 100th transplant

Dublin's Temple Street Childrens Hospital
Dublin's Temple Street Childrens Hospital Newsdesk Newsdesk

A teenager who had the first paediatric kidney transplant ever to take place in Temple Street hospital will return to the hospital today to celebrate its 100th transplant.

Courtney Kealy from Slane, Co Meath never had a bite to eat until she was six years old when she had her kidney transplant.

Courtney was just five days old when doctors discovered that her kidneys had not formed properly. Her organs were dysplastic, or congenitally mal-developed after multiple cysts had replaced renal tissue.

Her first dialysis tube was inserted when she was only eight days old. 

Life in the Kealy family home at Stanley Heights revolved around Courtney’s condition and her need for kidney dialysis.

Today, Courtney told Newstalk's Breakfast today: "After the transplant, I could do a lot more than I could do before... I could go simple places like swimming, or playing sports... [it was great] not having to watch and be careful with your kidneys, being hooked up to machines."

"My first food was chicken nuggets and 'til now I still love chicken nuggets."

As a sick child, Courtney remembers how "it was really annoying - doctors and nurses poking you and coming in every five minutes, and being hooked up to machines."

Courtney is studying for her Leaving Certificate this year, and become a children's nurse.

"I have my Leaving Cert in five weeks. I'd love to go on to do nursing. I've always wanted to work with sick children. Having the background helps because you know how important nurses are."

Now, Courtney has a medical check-up every three months but she lives a normal life. When she was five years old, things were very different.

"When we got the call for the tranplant I'd no idea what was going on. I was in Tramore and I had no idea, we got the phone call and got the garda escort up to Dublin."

There were 63 deceased donors in 2014, which the Irish Kidney Association has described as a "disappointing" number.

You can also get Organ Donor Cards by phoning the Irish Kidney Association LoCall 1890 543639 or Freetext the word DONOR to 50050. Visit their website

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