Kidney transplant has given me a new lease of life, says Shay

Maria Pepper

Published 25/03/2014 | 05:42

Wexfordman Shay Hanton has been given a new lease of life after receiving a kidney transplant three months ago.

Wexfordman Shay Hanton has been given a new lease of life after receiving a kidney transplant three months ago.

The 60-year old Maudlintown resident was diagnosed with kidney disease in December 2012 after becoming ill with severe headaches, vomiting and high blood pressure.

Shay managed to avoid dialysis through medication and a restricted diet right up to the time he was called for his transplant last December.

He had only been on the transplant list two months when a matching donor kidney became available.

'They rang me at 2.40 in the morning. It was a bit of a shock,' he said.

Shay was rushed by ambulance to Beaumont Hospital where he underwent a four-hour transplant operation the next morning.

He was in hospital for six days and is now well on the road to recovery.

'I'm still on a lot of medication but I'm about 60% better than I was,' he said.

Shay feels 'very lucky' to have received a transplant so quickly.

'I know I was heading for dialysis. I was getting very tired towards the end,' he said.

He was on a very limited salt-free diet for a year before the transplant, eating small portions of 'double-boiled potatoes, meat and vegetables.

Walking his dog Sherman twice a day was also part of his regime.

'He was the best part of the prescription. He was a motivation to go walking,' he said.

Shay is continuing on a low-fat diet, eating fruit and drinking two litres of water a day.

The father of three grown-up children Jonathan (New York), Georgina (Perth) and Ian (Wexford) feels he has been given 'a second life.

'Everything has happened so quickly that it hasn't properly sunk in yet.'

He is very grateful to the family of his deceased donor.

'It was very emotional at the time. You're thinking about the other family as well,' he said. Shay always carried a donor card himself and was also a regular blood donor.

'I would encourage everyone to carry a donor card,' he said.

He thanked family, friends and neighbours for their support during his illness, especially next-door neighbours Josie and Jimmy Stafford who looked after the family home and Sherman when he was in hospital. 'I'd also like to thank and staff of Waterford Regional Hospital and Beaumont Hospital for the great care I got,' said Shay.

Wexford People

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