I hit the jackpot and feel like a new man after swapping a four-way kidney transplant, says Galway

A GALWAY couple say they hit the “jackpot number” after participating in a four-way kidney transplant swap.

Eoin Madden, from Kiltullagh, Co Galway, describes himself as “a new man” after receiving a newly transplanted kidney he received from a stranger in the UK.

Galway couple Michelle and Eoin say they hit the'jackpot' after successful four-way transplant


Galway couple Michelle and Eoin say they hit the ‘jackpot’ after successful four-way transplant
Eoin in the hospital after the meeting


Eoin in the hospital after the meetingCredits: Eoin Madden

Meanwhile, his wife, Michelle (Shelly) Tooher, is recovering from donating one of her kidneys in a process known as ‘pair exchange’.

Her good deed paid off when her husband, Eoin’s transplant was successful.

The carefully staged event, involving operations at two hospitals, in Northern Ireland and the UK, was facilitated through a partnership between the HSE Overseas Treatment Fund, the UK’s national health service. United Kingdom, Beaumont Hospital and Belfast City Hospital.


Eoin and his wife Michelle are the first Irish couple this year to join the Living Kidney Sharing Scheme in the UK on January 4.

Before joining the UK couple exchange programme, Eoin was advised that his two previous transplants in 2001 and 2008 which he had received from deceased donors had resulted in Accumulating antibodies, his chance of finding a suitable kidney is one in a million.

Eoin, who is on dialysis, explains: “After Shelly was screened by Beaumont Hospital for a fit to donate one of her kidneys to me, we received the disappointing news that she was not a the right person for me.

Most read in The Irish Sun

“Then a consultant at Beaumont, Dr Colm Magee, suggested that we take part in a UK couple exchange program, which, with a larger group of sponsors, has could lead to a match, though, with my antibody build-up. no guarantee.

“The scheme offers four cycles in a year to find the right audience.

“We feel lucky that in the very first cycle, we joined that a match was found for me, while Shelly was supposed to be a match for a patient in the UK. We hit the jackpot for the first time! ”

“Organ donation is truly a gift of life. My life is now extended by three donors.

“I will always remember the selfless family of the two deceased organ donors who have given me many more years of health and allowed me to enjoy wonderful experiences including being married to a wife. beautiful, as well as giving me three beautiful children. become a hero kidney donor”.


Eoin’s husband will stay Belfast hospital for the next few weeks when the newly transplanted kidney is stable.

Michelle is now looking forward to returning home with her children in a few days.

The mother-of-three said: “It was an incredible experience and we are both relieved that Eoin’s transplant was a success.

“We feel very uplifting with all the well wishes and support we have received from so many people.

“Both Eoin’s family and my family have been unwaveringly supportive and comfortable spending time with us and caring for our children as we recover from the surgery.

“We now hope we will all be reunited as a family soon.

“Now our children can see their father in a new light for the first time, enjoy a new health, free from the limitations of dialysis.”

Carol Moore, CEO of the Irish Society of Nephrology, said: “We are delighted for Eoin and Michelle.

“This is a great example of how successful cross-border collaboration through an overseas HSE treatment program can be.”

  • An Organ Donation Card can be obtained by calling the Irish Kidney Society on 01 6205306 or texting DONOR toll free 50050. You can also visit the website at www.ika.ie/get-a-donor-card.
Eoin will be in the hospital for a few weeks to recover
Eoin will be in the hospital for a few weeks to recover

https://www.thesun.ie/fabulous/8200358/galway-couple-hit-jackpot-lives-changed-kidney-swap/ I hit the jackpot and feel like a new man after swapping a four-way kidney transplant, says Galway

Fry Electronics Team

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