Life-altering gift of kidney from sister to sibling
Laois teacher Melissa Honner underwent the transplant operation for her sister Alison
Sisters Alison and Melissa Honner with Joe Duffy
A bride-to-be has given a life-saving gift by donating a kidney to her younger sister and future bridesmaid.
The siblings decided to share their story to highlight the importance of organ donation and European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation which takes place today.
Alison, who previously had two failed transplants, said: “Now that Melissa has given me my life back I can look forward to the future and being her bridesmaid on her special day.”
They have now returned home to the Pike of Rushall in Co Laois and are looking forward to a bright future and Melissa’s wedding in July.
Donation was an obvious option, according to Melissa. “It was a no-brainer that I should help my sister who was struggling with dialysis for four years after two previous transplants failed. I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to donate a kidney to Alison as for some families living donation might not be an option.”
She wants the general public to support European Day for Organ Donation by having a discussion with their loved ones about organ donation.
Her sister Alison, a media student, said “the operation has been a great success and as Melissa was a perfect match the prospect of my new kidney lasting for longer is much greater. I will always be grateful to the families of the deceased donors for my previous two kidney transplants which gave me a better quality of life when I was younger.”
She encouraged people to carry an organ donor card and be aware of the immense difference a transplant can make to all those people with organ failure.
There are more than 650 people in Ireland awaiting organ transplants including heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas.
Last year Alison was declared “Best Female Athlete on Dialysis” for demonstrating great spirit and determination at the European Transplant and Dialysis Games where she secured three medals.
Last year 78 donors helped 206 people receive organ transplants, 10 of whom received heart transplants at the Mater hospital in Dublin.
For organ donor cards freetext the word DONOR to 50050 or Locall 1890-543639 or log on to ika.ie