Two Irishmen randomly met on a Midlands bog and ended up changing each other's lives in a wonderful way
A lovely story.
A chance meeting between two strangers on a midlands bog four years ago resulted in one of the men donating a kidney to the other.
Seamus Molloy (53), a lorry driver, from Moate, Co Westmeath donated a kidney to farmer Martin Byrne (55), also from Moate, after he heard of Martin's plight while struggling with kidney failure at the same time that his wife was losing her battle with motor neuron disease.
Seamus, a father of five children, had to lose two stone in weight before going through a rigorous psychological and physical screening process - a prerequisite for any person that's willing to donate an organ.
Prior to the operation Martin, a suckler farmer and father of two sons, had spent 15 months receiving haemodialysis treatment at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore.
Martin’s late wife Mary passed away on her 51st birthday in October 2014 just over a year before he received the gift of life from Seamus.
Martin said, "It is difficult to express my immense gratitude to Seamus for coming forward and offering to donate one of his kidneys to me. It was a huge and selfless decision for him and his wife Imelda to make. I would like to give something back now and I hope by sharing my story it will help to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation.
"My father and grandfather also had kidney disease and my brother Anthony who lives nearby has been receiving dialysis treatment for 11 years.
"Thanks to Seamus donating a kidney, I have got my health back and have much more energy. I am now back working on the farm full-time while caring for my two teenage sons.
"My eldest son Conor, is doing his leaving cert this year. I would like to thank the staff at Beaumont Hospital as well as my consultant Mr. Bergin and his team at Tullamore Hospital for the wonderful care they have provided.
"I would also like to acknowledge the support I received from my family, friends and neighbours over the past few years who helped me through the difficult and sad times.”
Seamus said “giving a kidney wasn’t a difficult decision for me to make and I think more people should consider doing it.
"I could not sit back when I knew I could help alleviate some of the struggle for Martin and his family. I remember after discussing it with my wife first phoning Martin to see if our blood types matched as I wanted to donate a kidney.
"Once we established that we had the same blood type, I contacted Beaumont Hospital to find out more about becoming a kidney donor. We had to undergo other tests to make sure I was a suitable match for Martin. Before the operation I had to lose two stone in weight, a stone of which I have put back on since then.
"I feel we were very lucky to have been a suitable match for the transplant and I would encourage other people to consider organ donation and talk about it with their family. Martin is living proof of the success of organ donation and he has got his health and quality of life back."
The successful transplant operation took place at Beaumont Hospital on 9th November 2015 and both men are happy to share this heartwarming story in an effort to draw attention to Organ Donor Awareness Week which runs until 9th April.
Best of luck to both men.