herald

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Life is beginning again after my kidney swap op, reveals Regina

TRANSPLANT patient Regina Hennelly has said that "life begins again" after she received the gift of a donor kidney.

The 29-year-old's health had been rapidly deteriorating as she languished for two-and-a-half painful years on the transplant list.

She had to endure nine hours of dialysis each night and she said that by Christmas she was "entirely spent".

"Kidney disease has taken so much from me. It has chipped away at my physical health, my mental health, my relationships with my family and friends, my career, my plans, my twenties," she said.

Regina, a journalist, originally from Castlebar, Co Mayo, said that she received the vital call at 6.30am on Friday.



Staggering

She was told to pack a bag and quickly make her way to Beaumont Hospital from her apartment in Rathfarnham -- and, so far, everything has gone to plan.

"I got my transplant on Friday. New kidney is working brilliantly. Life begins again," she said.

"I have no words to describe this delight. In pain today, but knowing dialysis is out of my life forever makes pain irrelevant."

Earlier, Regina slammed the HSE for a massive delay in issuing her medical card.

She told the Herald she had been waiting a staggering five months for the card to be renewed, after submitting the application to the HSE last September.

The writer also told how she had avoided going to see her GP for months because of the costs.

But Regina said that she was delighted to receive her new medical card and a donor kidney within the same week.

Regina first discovered she had a form of chronic kidney disease in 2008 and by June the following year her condition began to worsen.

She had a tube inserted into her stomach for dialysis at home.



Glorious

But after a four-hour operation at the hospital on Friday, Regina said she instantly felt more alert.

"The brain and everything is sluggish, you are slower to react on dialysis. It was like waking from a 100-year sleep," she said.

And Regina is looking forward to a brighter future, particularly planning a "ridiculously big" 30th birthday on March 8.

"The view from where I lie this morning is decidedly glorious. There is pain, of course, but my new life starts here," she wrote online at the weekend.

The young author said the donor and their family were on her mind and that she would share a "special bond" with them for the rest of her life.

And she said that another 27-year-old girl in a bed in her ward had also received a life-saving kidney from the same donor.

To receive an organ donor card, freetext 'Donor' to 50050.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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