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20/09/2021

Mum seeks living donor for kidney transplant less than three years after receiving a liver transplant

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A Draperstown mum who is currently waiting on a kidney transplant says she has been told that her only hope of survival is if a matching living donor comes forward. Bronagh Murray, 42, was last year dealt the devastating news that she needs a kidney transplant, less than three years after receiving a liver transplant. The mum-of-one began dialysis this week but hopes that a suitable live donor will be found to ‘completely change her life’. Having successfully received a liver transplant in 2016, a routine blood test afterwards showed abnormalities. “I had the liver transplant in March 2016 and after that I was in a wheelchair for a year.  When I did get back walking again, I had to go for blood tests and results showed that damage had been caused to the kidneys.  They found out that the rejection tablets which I had been taking following the liver transplant had affected my kidneys,” said Bronagh. The south Derry woman described the news as ‘devastating’ given that she had waited three years for a liver transplant. “I just thought to myself, I’m going to have to go through this again,” she said. “Tim Brown, my consultant at the City Hospital, said he has given every single person who has come through his door a chance but I’m the first patient he has met who he has hit a brick wall with. “He told me that he can’t guarantee I’m going to survive a transplant but he can guarantee I will have a lot of complications afterwards. “My consultants, Dr Brown and Dr Cash have been fantastic, as has my own GP, Dr Logan.  They have provided me with so much support.” Bronagh will now receive dialysis three days per week at Altnagelvin Hospital in an effort to ‘prolong her life’. “Dialysis is going to be my life now.  I’m going to be hooked onto a machine and everything is going to be restricted – where I can go and what I can do,” she said. Bronagh’s husband Brendan, who she has described as her ‘total rock’, and brother are currently going through tests to see if they could be a potential donor. However, in the event they will not be matches, she is hoping other volunteers will come forward. “People can live with one kidney and after the operation they can be out of hospital in two days,” she said. “For a living donor to come forward, it would completely change my life.  By getting a kidney transplant it would give me more energy and a better quality of life. “I am thankful for my liver transplant – it gave me two more years with my husband and son and I am truly thankful every day when I open my eyes that I have a bit of a quality of life.” Urging people to join the Organ Donor Register, Bronagh said: “A few minutes is all it takes.  No-one knows when they, or someone close to them, will need an organ donor, so I think it’s very important to join.” Bronagh will speak about her experience at a talk on organ donation on Friday, April 26 at St Patrick's Church Hall in Ballinderry.      

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