NI’s Milestone 3,000th Kidney Transplant Recipient Expresses Gratitude to ‘Hero’ Mother

A 31-year-old woman from Belfast named Shannon Stewart has become the 3,000th person to receive a successful kidney transplant in Northern Ireland. Shannon underwent the life-saving surgery on January 3 at Belfast City Hospital, receiving a live kidney donation from her mother, Joanne Osborne. The achievement is being celebrated as a landmark moment for organ donation, with Dr Aisling Courtney, a consultant, commenting that the first 1,000 transplants took 30 years, but the latest 1,000 were done in just under nine years. Shannon expressed her gratitude and admiration for her mother, describing her as her hero and saying that she is everything to her. Before the transplant, Shannon suffered from exhaustion and brain fog, but immediately after the surgery, she felt amazing and her head cleared automatically. Both Shannon and Joanne work at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald and were thrilled to discover that their transplant marked the 3,000th milestone since renal services started in Belfast in 1968.

The increase in the number of kidney transplants in Northern Ireland over the past decade is attributed to the expansion of the successful live donor programme. Dr Courtney highlighted the altruism of donors, whether they are family members, friends, or even strangers. She described Northern Ireland as the leading country for living organ donation in the world. The team at Belfast City Hospital has previously made headlines for their achievements, with a record-breaking 137 kidney transplants performed in 2020, including five transplants in a single 24-hour period during the Covid-19 pandemic. Since Shannon’s transplant, an additional 15 life-saving transplants have taken place in Belfast. Overall, this milestone of 3,000 successful kidney transplants is a testament to the dedication of the hospital team, the generosity of donors, and the progress made in renal services since the 1960s.

(Note: The information provided is a paraphrased version of the original news article and does not include direct quotes or external sources.)

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