independent

Sunday 22 October 2017

Wexford's Sabia hasn't looked back since life-changing transplant

By David Tucker

Sabia Barron.
Sabia Barron.

sabia Barron, a 32-year-old make-up artist from Cluain Dara, whose parents Johnnie and Nuala run the Sky in the Ground, in Wexford town, is celebrating 12 years since undergoing a kidney transplant at Beaumont Hospital.

She said she hadn't looked back since receiving her life-changing transplant.

'I am grateful to my deceased organ donor for giving me the opportunity to enjoy a good quality of life away from hospital dialysis. When I was 19 years old and in my first year at college I was told that I would have to commence dialysis treatment as my kidney function had failed,' said Sabia,

'this involved travelling to Waterford Regional hospital two times a week for haemodialysis treatment for over 20 months.'

'I had to give up college due to the limitations her dialysis treatment, my diet was very restrictive and I had very little energy,' she said.

'However, the dialysis did work well for me and I tried to keep a positive attitude while I was on the waiting list for a transplant. I had great support from my friends and family including my parents and my younger brother and sister Caolan and Enya'.

She said she enjoyed the social interaction of working part-time in her parents' pub and managed to arrange a holiday in Crete enabled by the support of the Irish Kidney Association which arranged for her dialysis treatment abroad.

'I will always remember that fateful day in October, 2004 when I received a call from the organ donor co-ordinator in Beaumont Hospital that a suitable donor kidney had become available. Since then I haven't looked back and I am enjoying life and this is all thanks to my donor,' she said.

Organ Donor Awareness Week runs until April 9 and Sabia said she would encourage everyone to become an organ donor.

'It's changed my life. I couldn't do half the things I have done in the past 12 years if it wasn't for the transplant,' said Sabia, who works as a freelance make up artist in Wexford.

She recalls the twice weekly trips for dialysis, the long drawn out time travelling for the treatment and the tiredness following it.

'It was only three hours each session, but it took half a day out each time and then you are tired into into the next week. It takes a lot out of you,' she said.

Sabia said her life now is a world apart from the way it was before she had the transplant. She still travels for check ups every couple of months and takes medication, but it's a small price to pay for being given a second chance of a full life.

Organ Donor Awareness Week is running until April 9. At the launch, the Irish Kidney Association said that while it welcomed the transplant programmes for kidney, heart, lung and liver there was an urgent need for a second transplanting hospital to meet the spiralling demand for kidney transplants and to combat massive strain on the national purse.

The Association predicts that the 2,000 people on dialysis now, will have risen to 3,000 within the next 10 years, costing an additional €50 million a year.

County Wexford is due to get its first kidney dialysis unit up and running at Whitemill in Wexford town by the end of the year.

Wexford People

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