ALL SMILES Regina Hennelly, pictured here with her niece Grace after winning medals at the European Transplant games, is delighted to have a new lease of life.
Manulla transplant patient tells of transplant joy
Kidney transplant patient Regina Hennelly from Manulla has spoken about the joy of receiving the life-saving gift of a donor kidney.
Ms Hennelly (29), a journalist, received a call in the early hours of Friday morning last to tell her that they had a kidney for her and for her to get to Beaumont Hospital.
She has been waiting two and a half years for a kidney transplant and spoke from her hospital bed on Sunday night to express her joy at her new lease of life and to express her gratitude towards her donor.
“My donor is on my mind. I won’t know who that person is or who they were but they gave me this great gift of life. It is so fantastic that people do that and can find the strength to do that,” she told The Irish Independent. Ms Hennelly hadn’t left the country since being put into a pool for a transplant and having to be on near constant standby.
“You are waiting an indefinite period of time,” Regina told The Mayo News in 2010. “I could be getting the call tomorrow or I might be waiting over a year. On one level it is frustrating because you don’t know when the endgame is.
“It works off a pool rather than a waiting list. If a kidney is donated as a result of a car accident, there may be 20 people who are matches and then the surgeon will make a decision. But it is a quick decision, they have to act fast so you have to have your phone on at all times and your bag packed, waiting for the call.”
She got the call last Friday morning and her friend from home, Nicola Rogers, accompanied her to the hospital from her apartment in Rathfarnham, Dublin, and by 6pm on Friday she was recovering from the four-hour operation.
“The kidney seemed to take straight away. The anaesthetic was not pleasant but as soon as I woke I 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.”
Ms Hennelly had been receiving dialysis for eight hours a night, every night, at home since June 2009. Now, thanks to a donor, she has been given a new lease of life.