A young Donegal schoolboy has been ‘ordered’ to drink coke and eat chocolate, much to the envy of his class-mates at Ballylast National School.
Matthew Doherty (10) from Castlefin has been put on the strict diet by his doctors following a successful kidney transplant at Temple Street Children’s Hospital two weeks ago.
The eldest son of Joe and Louise Doherty, Matthew spent five years on a transplant waiting list before getting the call on Wednesday morning, August 24.
His father Joe takes up the story.
“It’s two weeks today (Wednesday) since the operation and he’s in great form. We still have to travel to Dublin twice a week to do bloods but all is good thank God. He’s flying – doing better than expected.
“We were lying in bed when Louise got the call at 7am that Wednesday morning. The operation took place at 3pm that same afternoon as we’ve always had a bag packed so that when the call for a kidney comes we’re ready to go,” he added.
A pupil at Ballylast NS, Matthew has missed a lot of school through injury over the years but he hopes to return to class at Halloween.
“Matthew ate nothing apart from bread and butter, tea and toast and, maybe, the odd ham sandwich up to now but he’s started nibbling at different other things since the operation. The doctor wants him to drink coke and eat chocolate because his potassium levels are low,” Joe said.
Matthew was just ten months old when he was admitted to Letterkenny University Hospital after contracting E.coli and now has a disease called haemolyticuremic syndrome (HUS).
The 2012 All-Ireland winning Donegal team visited him in hospital and he’s looking forward to pulling on the Robert Emmets jersey and playing with his younger brother Adam (6) in the not too distant future.
“He loves GAA but hasn’t had the energy to play while we were also afraid that he might get hurt. It’s great to have him back home and in such good spirits,” he said.
Mr Doherty also issued a passionate appeal to people to become donors and carry donor cards so that they can give life to others after they die.
“It’s tough for families when they lose people suddenly or in tragic circumstances, but if they’re organ donors they could save somebody’s life. Matthew is living proof,” he said.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our two families for their help and support together with all the doctors and nurses who have helped to look after Matthew, both in Letterkenny and Dublin.
“He got a great welcome home last Friday. He was given a Garda escort from Lifford to Castlefin while members of the local Robert Emmets club were also out in great numbers,” he said.
Posted: 9:00 am September 10, 2016