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Transplant recipient Darren Cawley gets vaccine



Oisín McGovern

WESTPORT native and kidney transplant recipient Darren Cawley has received the Covid-19 vaccine in Dublin’s Beaumount hospital.
The well-known motivational speaker, who spent many years on dialysis due to kidney failure, received the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine yesterday (Monday).
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday evening, Darren described getting the jab from fellow Covie Aoife O’Toole as ‘very straight-forward’.
“I see my nephrologist up there every three months, so that’s why I got a call to go to Dublin,” Darren explained.
“I got the text message on Saturday night to be there on Monday at 11.20am. Obviously I went up, and it was pretty straightforward. I went up to Beaumont and into Vaccination Clinic 1 – you sit there and someone takes your name and your date of birth and PPS number – and then into another room where there was a young lady whose dad is from Westport, Aoife O’Toole was her name.
“She was fantastic. We had a great chat. We knew the same people. She made me feel very comfortable, explained everything in detail, said I may feel unwell for a day afterwards, and to get in touch with my healthcare team [if it had side-effects] and asked was I okay to take the vaccine, which I obviously was.”
Describing getting the injection, he said: “It’s just a tiny little needle, which is very straightforward, there’s no problem there. You’ve to wait for 15 minutes afterwards to make sure you’ve no allergic reaction, which I didn’t. I’ve to go back in 12 weeks’ time.”

Dip and jab
Back in December, Darren came out to publicly urge people to behave responsibly over the Christmas in order to protect people like him with underlying conditions.
He said the benefits of him getting vaccinated far outweigh the negatives of contracting Covid-19.
He would ‘absolutely’ recommend people with similar underlying conditions get the vaccine.
“In my case the main reason I’d be keen to get it was my consultant Prof Conlon and the Irish Kidney Association were both 100 percent behind getting the vaccine,” he said.
“The professor said any effect you have from the vaccine will be nothing compared to if you do get the virus.
“It’s over 20 percent of people with kidney disease end up with death or very serious health issues because of it.” he said.
Before getting the jab, Darren went for a swim on Portmarnock beach to mark the 50th day of his ‘Freezebury’ challenge to raise awareness for organ donation.
Since the beginning of last month, himself and a few friends have taken the plunge into the icy waters of Rosbeg pier each morning.
The challenge was originally meant to last for ten days.
Little did Darren know that he would ended up dipping his toes into the Irish Sea 50 days later!
“It’s been the highlight of the third lockdown that challenge.
“We’re going to keep it going. It’s a habit now,” he said.