Transplant athlete goes for gold
Oisin O'Gorman will give his father, Kieran, a very special Father's Day present of a gold medal at the 18th World Transplant Games in Sweden, only two years after Kieran donated his own kidney to save his injured son's life.
In September 2009, Oisin, 9, from Lismore in Co Waterford, suffered a lacerated kidney after an accident on his first-ever bike ended in catastrophe. After losing control, he crashed, sending the handlebars of the bike plunging into his side. Although it didn't pierce Oisin's skin the impact of the bar was enough to lacerate his kidney.
Speaking from their hotel room in Gothenburg, Kieran said: "At first we didn't think much was wrong because their was no visible cuts but it became obvious very quickly that something serious had happened."After he was rushed to hospital the extent of his injuries soon became known. "We couldn't believe it, our whole world was turned upside-down,'' said Kieran.
During emergency surgery Oisin's lacerated kidney was removed, with his other kidney expected to suffice.
However, in another dramatic twist it was discovered that his remaining kidney had never fully developed since birth. The doctor's told them a kidney transplant was the only option and that a donor was urgently needed.
"It was a no brainer; my wife Jennifer and I were tested for suitability straight away. Luckily I was a suitable match and was eager to get it done.''
The surgery went relatively smoothly and after a few months both father and son made a full recovery.
Now, nearly two years to the day since the harrowing ordeal began, Oisin is the youngest ever competitor at the games. Yesterday, he took gold in the 50m race in the aged 9-11 category and he will also represent Ireland in the ten pin bowling event.
"I really wanted to win a medal for my family but especially for my dad,'' said an excited Oisin.
Kieran, who travelled to the games with his son, said: "I've told him that he's already made me the happiest and proudest father in the world."
On behalf of his family, Kieran extended his heartfelt thanks to all the staff at Temple Street Hospital for the outstanding care provided during Oisin's time there.