Tuesday 17 September 2019

Loving son turns down dream University place in Austria to donate a kidney to his dad

Liam and Darren Martin, Templederry, Co. Tipperary.
Photo: Donal O' Leary
Liam and Darren Martin, Templederry, Co. Tipperary. Photo: Donal O' Leary

Patricia Murphy

A selfless act of love saw a Tipperary man let go of his dream to study abroad to donate a kidney to save the life of his ailing father.

Darren Martin (25) from Templederry donated a kidney to his dad Liam last year, after his own kidneys had failed. Studious Darren made the decision to remain in Ireland to help his family, despite being offered a dream spot on a Masters Degree programme to study German in Austria.

“I was worried about my father as his health was declining. He had been on a form of home dialysis since Christmas Eve 2010 which involved him being dialysed for 10 hours every night and he was managing to keep going with this treatment. However a severe infection that developed meant he had to change from his home treatment to hospital dialysis in March 2014,” said Darren.

“He now would have to travel to Limerick three times a week to undergo hospital haemodialysis treatment.  I knew this would go hard on my father as he was already suffering from tiredness and struggling to keep working on the family farm. I decided not to go to university in Austria as I would have been too far away from Tipperary to help my father out and offer support to my mother and younger brother.” 

Darren, who now works in commercial finance in Kerry Group, revealed that he was thrilled to find he was an adequate transplant match for his dad.

“As soon as I heard he was about to commence hospital dialysis treatment I phoned him to tell him I wanted to donate a kidney to him. 

“Then began the screening process including blood and tissue type matching as well as psychological assessment before it was confirmed that I was a suitable match. In the seven months leading up to the living donor kidney transplant my father continued to travel to Limerick for his dialysis treatment three days a week.”

“Our transplant operation went in April last year at Beaumont Hospital. Our recovery was very quick and I am back to work with the Kerry Group and dad is back working on the farm,”

Liam and Darren Martin, Templederry, Co. Tipperary.
Photo: Donal O' Leary
Liam and Darren Martin, Templederry, Co. Tipperary. Photo: Donal O' Leary

Darren urged Irish people to speak to their families about organ donation as it can help others valuable time.

“It was great to be able to help him by giving him a kidney as he now has a new lease of life. My mother and younger brother Cian were a huge support throughout my father’s illness and around the time we went for the transplant operations we also extremely grateful for the support of friends and neighbours who helped out with the farm work,” he said.

Organ Donor Awareness Week 2016, which is organised by the Irish Kidney Association, will take place from 2nd – 9th April

Organ Donor Cards can also be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association  LoCall 1890 543639 orFreetext the word DONOR to 50050. Visit website www.ika.ie

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