independent

Saturday 21 October 2017

Frank's on the list, hoping for a transplant to change his life

SPONTANAEITY is a word which 45-yearold Foulksmills farmer Frank Curtis has had to remove from his vocabularly. Temporarily, at least. Since starting dialysis in June 2007 – after going into renal failure as a result of an hereditary polycystic disease – Frank can no longer do anything at the spur of the moment.

Every week must be planned to fit in with his dialysis schedule, which happens three days a week in Waterford.

Each dialysis session takes nearly seven hours out of his day, and away from the farm, and can b very tiring for his body.

Frank, who is the son of former Wexford county councillor Jimmy Curtis and his wife Agnes, must also have part-time help on the farm, which allows him the time to go and get well.

Having to embark on dialysis has been life-altering for the father of three, who is married to Mary Cullen from Kilmore Quay.

'It's been a huge change in my life. Everything has to be planned ahead. We can't do anything at the spur of the moment.'

Frank is currently on the transplant donor list, and hopes and prays that a match will come for him soon. But there is no gauranteed timescale.

'I know people who are on the list for four years or more, and others that get a transplant very quickly. There is no hard and fast rule,' he said.

A transplant would mean that Frank would be able to 'go back to leading a normal life'. 'I currently spend 20 hours a week on dialysis, and sometime you don't feel so good afterwards.'

He is hopeful he will soon get his 'call' to go to Dublin, and encourages people to sign those donor cards.

'I think it's important for people to carry donor cards, and maybe give someone a second crack at a full quality of life.'

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