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I gave my mum the best ever mother's day gift ... my kidney

A Dublin mum has received a Mother's Day gift she'll never forget -- a life-saving kidney from her son.

Tallaght woman Bernie Sharkey says her son Brian is her "hero" after he donated an organ which saved her life.

Now home from Beaumont Hospital after the successful transplant, Bernie (53) is getting used to life without the dialysis machine that she was hooked up to for four hours a day.

Having fallen ill from kidney failure due to high blood pressure more than three years ago, the Alderwood Lawn mother-of-two didn't know how she would cope with life.

But both her son Brian (28) and daughter Aoife (32) offered to see if they matched her tissue type, and on Tuesday last week both were taken to operating theatres, where Brian's left kidney was removed and transplanted into Bernie.

"He's my hero now, and I won't have to do dialysis anymore," said Bernie of her son.

"I don't have to plan my life around a machine, and I already feel much better," she added.

Bernie said she doesn't want anything for Mother's Day this Sunday. "I already have everything I need. I'll go mad if anyone gives me anything," she laughed.

Brian lives in Scotland now, but is recovering in the family home in Tallaght for a few days as he gets over the keyhole surgery used to remove his kidney.

"There are six areas that doctors check for compatibility, and they say they can do a transplant if there are four points that match, but with us it was a perfect match on all six points," he explained.

"I feel about 70pc again now, and getting stronger every day. I actually had my first pint the other night," he smiled.

"It was a very fulfilling thing to do, and it was great to be able to help mam," Brian added.

"It has been a very emotional week, and to be honest we couldn't have done it without the help of our family, friends and neighbours," he explained.

The Sharkeys admitted to being a bit soft when it comes to emotion, and said a few tears had been shed in the past week.

Bernie's husband Carl had good confidence in the surgeon that carried out her transplant -- after all, he was former All-Ireland treble winner and 1970s Dublin star David Hickey.

"I couldn't have believed that a man I used to watch with such success on the field would one day make such a difference to my wife's life," he laughed.

Now, both Brian and Bernie have asked that more people carry organ donor cards to help others.

They want to thank everybody in Tallaght and Beaumont Hospitals


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