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The gift of life -- joy of brave wife who saved her husband by donating kidney

A DUBLIN mum has told of her joy at being able to donate a kidney to her husband restoring him to full health.

Josephine Mulryan Evers (55) and her husband John Evers (57) were the fourth couple in Ireland who are not blood related to participate in the live donor programme.

The procedure was carried out in January, and the couple are now back scuba diving with their diving club and hill walking.


Two years ago, the couple discovered that John's polycystic kidney disease was steadily decreasing his kidney function.

"He was facing, in the immediate future, dialysis and the waiting list for a kidney transplant. In addition we were told that the waiting list would be anything from two to five years," she said.

Josephine said that she learned that the best option for anyone with John's diagnosis would be pre-emptive live donation, and hearing about another Irish woman who had donated a kidney to her husband inspired her to find out if she could give a kidney to John.

When John was placed on the transplant list, Josephine was able to come forward as a candidate to be a live donor.

"As it turned out, we have the same blood group and so the compatibility tests began in October 2009. Having gone through all the tests we were overjoyed when we learned that we were compatible.

"We were very, very lucky," she said, about finding out that the couple who live in Gormanstown in north county Dublin, were a match.

The transplant was carried out on January 5 at Dublin's Beaumont Hospital, and they left the hospital together on January 11.

"For me, I feel no different to how I felt before the operation. John, on the other hand is so much better," said Josephine. She said that they did not realise that he had been steadily becoming ill. "Now he is restored to full health and looks and feels really well," she said.

"We would be a very close couple. He would have done the same thing for me," she said, about her decision to donate her kidney.


Before the surgery John had been following a renal diet, but now he can eat everything.

Josephine told the Herald that as a donor, she gets pleasure out of seeing John so well, and is relieved that they can continue with their lives and not be tied to a dialysis machine for an unknown number of years.

She said that they were grateful to the doctors and medical staff in the renal unit of Beaumont Hospital for giving their lives back to them.

"The medical team in Beaumont made it so easy," she said.