A SEVEN-year-old girl has tasted her very first Easter egg after receiving a miracle kidney transplant that has “transformed her life”.
Sofia Corey, of Dublin, spent her whole life without chocolate due to strict diet restrictions as she battled constant treatments and hospital trips for a kidney condition.
Sofia was born prematurely and diagnosed with Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome when she was just seven weeks old.
She became a patient at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin and underwent an operation to have one of her kidneys removed when she was just six months old.
Sophia spent four years on nightly dialysis treatment, waited two years for a transplant and cocooned away from her friends during the Covid-19 pandemic before finally receiving a perfect kidney match last Christmas.
Now able to ditch her strict diet, delighted Sofia has tasted her very first Easter egg, with high hopes of returning to school and normal life soon.
Mum Elaine said: “She can now look forward to a normal childhood and like most kids she has developed a fondness for chocolate.
“This will be her first Easter to enjoy Easter eggs, just like her friends.
“She is totally free from dialysis now and we are starting to see her appetite improve and she is much more active. She no longer has diet and fluid restrictions.”
Elaine continued: “The fluid restrictions were very tough for her, particularly in the summer months when she was confined to just 200mls of water.”
Only child Sofia faced a difficult past year cocooning during the pandemic but is looking forward to a happier, healthier summer.
Elaine said: “Because of Covid-19 and as a dialysis patient and now a transplant patient in the high-risk category, she has been cocooning for over a year away from her school friends.
“It’s great that spring has arrived as she can now enjoy more time outside in the back garden in her playhouse.
“She was so excited to have to go into hospital on Good Friday to finally have the dialysis line removed from her chest.”
Elaine said Sofia’s life had “revolved around nightly dialysis” with plenty of hospital visits and sickness before her transplant.
The wait for a kidney was long and frustrating for Sofia’s family, with both mum Elaine and dad Daniel ruled out as donors.
The family also faced the challenge of meeting specific height and weight requirements before Sofia was eligible for the transplant waiting list.
Brave Sofia was five years old and over two years on nightly dialysis before she had grown big enough to join the list.
Elaine explained: “We are so grateful to the kidney donor for finally giving Sofia a chance of a normal childhood.
“Both myself and Sofia’s father were extremely disappointed to learn that neither of us were suitable kidney donors as we had assumed that one of would be.
“She needed to be big enough to be able to receive a donor kidney. She was five years old before she reached the required size.”
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At any one time in Ireland there are between 550 and 600 people on waiting lists for organ transplants including heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas. In 2020, 190 transplants were carried out, with organs donated from 62 deceased donors and 28 living.
Elaine and Daniel want to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and transplants.
Elaine said: “I would urge everyone to try to understand the importance of organ donation. A donor has given Sofia a chance to have normal childhood. Our family will never be able to describe how grateful we are for this.”
- Organ Donor Awareness Week 2021, organised by the Irish Kidney Association, ran from March 27 to April 3. For more information on organ donation visit the Irish Kidney Association website www.ika.ie OR For organ donor cards Freetext DONOR to 50050.
Transplant News Sharing // “Kidney Transplants” – Google News from Source www.thesun.ie