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Monday 29 May 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Arthur Carron Christy McLaughlin
# kidney donor
'It's like winning the Lotto': Ireland's oldest living transplant recipient marks 46th year of organ donation
Christy McLoughlin was just 21 when he had a successful kidney transplant.

IRELAND’S LONGEST-SURVIVING organ recipient has expressed his appreciation for organ donors across the country after marking the 46th anniversary of his transplant.

67 year-old Christy McLoughlin from Castlerickard, Longwood, Co Meath, had his successful kidney transplant in December 1972 when he was 21 years old, after he received a kidney from a deceased donor.

Speaking at the end of Organ Donation Awareness Week, Christy said he still prays for his donor every day and has a mass said for his family every year on the anniversary of his transplant.

“Only for organ donors many people would not be alive today and I probably wouldn’t be here,” he said.

Before his transplant, Christy had to travel to the old Jervis Street Hospital for dialysis treatment three times a week, a journey which took him nine hours.

“At the time it was very tough working by day and having to travel for dialysis in the evenings,” he explained.

“In those days there was no kidney patients advocacy group. I underwent hospital dialysis treatment from 1968 until I was called for my transplant in December 1972.”

Christy also revealed how he used to have to go for regular check ups to the old St. Mary’s Hospital in the Phoenix Park after his transplant.

While there, he met Sean Fitzpatrick from Athlone, one of the first people to undergo a living donor kidney transplant in Ireland in 1975.

Sean received his kidney from his brother Seamus, and his transplant kidney is still working.

“We were both young lads at the time when we used to have regular stays at St. Mary’s,” Christy said.

“In those days we’d regularly be kept in hospital together where we would stay for almost a week at a time as we underwent medical examinations and tests to see how our transplanted kidneys were performing”.

Following his life-saving transplant, Christy met his wife Terese, and this year marks their 38th wedding anniversary.

The couple have been living in Castlerickard since they were married, and have one daughter and two young grandchildren.

But despite having started a family of his own, Christy says his donor’s family are always in his thoughts.

“Getting a transplant is like winning the lotto,” he said. “I am still here 46 years later and making the best of my second chance of life.”

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