An Irish mother tried desperately to hold back tears yesterday as she told the story of the son who gave her a whole new lease of life.
30 year old Brian Sharkey, from Tallaght, Dublin, donated a kidney to his mum Bernie, who is in her late fifties, in April of 2011 at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.
Yesterday he described his gift as “just something you do for your mum. It’s hard to describe the impact the whole experience had on my family.”
“It gave my mum a new freedom but really the staff at Beaumont gave my mum the gift of life.”
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.
Bernie, who had been on dialysis for four years before receiving the kidney, filled with emotion as she spoke about her son’s gesture.
“I still can’t comprehend what happened. I was on home dialysis for four years, four times a day every day, until Brian gave me the kidney,” she said.
“It changed my life forever. It was a hugely emotional thing which happened to the family. Thank God we’re all flying now and Brian runs marathons.”
The mother and son team were speaking as they helped launch a new staff-recognition and fundraising program at Beaumont Hospital called ‘Honour Your Heroes’.
It allows patients to send a message of appreciation to a staff member or team within the hospital to thank them for the care they, or a loved one have received. A voluntary donation can also be made.
Brian paid tribute to transplant surgeon Dilly Little, head of the Living Related Donor Program, who played a key part in the procedure at the hospital.
The Voena Choir, a fifty-strong group of children from San Francisco, who were en route home from performing at the Olympics, sang at the launch, which also marked the 25th year of the hospital’s operation.