Irish Kidney Association

Irish girl accepted for kidney exchange programme

Eddie Carter will donate his kidney to a stranger and his daughter Megan will receive another donor’s organ in return.

IT READS LIKE a script for Grey’s Anatomy but Megan Carter’s story is 100 per cent real life.

The Dublin girl, who turns 13 years old this Sunday, has just heard of her acceptance onto a paired exchange programme in the UK. The system sees willing donors and recipients swap kidneys so their loved ones can benefit.

Eddie Carter, Megan’s father, plans to donate a kidney to a patient at Guy’s Hospital while Megan gets her new kidney at Great Ormond Street in London.

Every year, four cycles of paired exchange programme operations take place in the UK and the Carters hope the operations will take place as early as June.

Both Eddie and Megan had to undergo an eight-month long, involved screening process for suitability.

Mum Carol explains that Megan is also on the kidney transplant waiting list in Ireland but currently receives 12 hours of nightly dialysis treatment. ”We remain optimistic that she will be called for her transplant soon,” she said.

“It’s great news that Megan and Eddie have been given this opportunity in the UK also. It will be very emotional as I will have to split myself in two when both my husband and daughter undergo operations at the same time in different hospitals in London.

Megan has had a rough ride with her health and a successful transplant will make a huge different to [her] quality of life.

“A transplant will allow Megan  to live a normal life again without being tied to 12 hourly nightly dialysis.”

Megan became very ill at age six when it was discovered that she had underdeveloped kidneys which led to a series of kidney infections.

She received a pre-emptive kidney transplant in 2011 but sadly it failed within a few hours. She suffered heart failure last year and is now taking medication because of the damage caused.

Despite her health issues, Megan continues to be positive and tries to lead “as normal a childhood as possible”.

The Carters’ acceptance into the programme comes at the end of Organ Donor Awareness Week, which was fronted by RTÉ presenter Joe Duffy who is pictured with Megan above.

About 3,000 people in Ireland live an extended life away from hospital as a result of receiving organ transplants. There are now more than 600 people waiting for hearts, lungs, livers, kidneys and pancreas across the country.

Read: Heart transplant gives mother a new life

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