Monday, 31 March 2014

Remembering Mammies this Organ Donor Awareness Week

I had reason to travel on the old Galway - Dublin road this weekend. It had been years since I had laid eyes on such once-familiar towns as Horseleap, Milltown Pass, Moate and Enfield. I was on my way to a birthday celebration for a wonderful woman, a fellow graduate of the Renal Unit Mammies PhD Course in Transplant Survival Skills.  Seeing these towns again was very strange.  It was the reliable traffic jam in Moate that sparked a flood of memories. I remembered our kids side by side on dialysis machines, three days a week we would turn up to get hooked up. As mammies we bonded over our shared hospital experiences and our mutual love for the finer things in life, like  fine wine (well any wine actually) and gooey cake.

I remembered all those days spent in the back of the taxi, travelling four hours to the hospital, spending four hours on the dialysis machine and then back on the road for four more gruelling hours to get home. I remembered the various taxi drivers, some so kind they almost made me weep and some so insensitive they made me want to scream. The one who kept talking, even when I was helplessly exhausted and craving silence. He would subject me to eight hours of meaningless prattle about football matches while he constantly referred to women as 'fine bits of stuff'. I remembered arriving home from these trips feeling like I was trapped in some cruel recurring nightmare. I remembered how this mammy was my sanity valve, how her sense of humour would pull me back from the brink.

I remembered the day I got her text saying her daughter had got 'the call' - I screamed so loud the whole house came running and as I passed on the wonderful news of a new kidney, we all cried with joy, yet too scared to dare to hope. We spread the news to all the good pray-ers we knew, those still blessed with faith that they may intercede on her behalf.  I look at our two happy kids now and think of all the mammies who are currently supporting each other while sitting beside whirring dialysis machines. All those mammies afraid to exhale in case the skimpy scaffolding of their suspended lives comes crashing down.  I think of the mammies who, at a time when the their lives had fallen apart, chose to gift life to our children.

Organ Donation affects the entire family, that of donors and recipients. For the sake of mammies everywhere please have the organ donor conversation with your family and make your wishes known to your loved ones.


  • email:
  • freetext DONOR to 50050
  • lo call 1890 543639
  • By post to: Freepost, Donor House, Irish Kidney Association, 
  • Park West, Dublin 12