Page 4 - Support Magazine Summer 2017
P. 4

wo doctors who work together
                                                                                     in a busy medical practice in
                                                                                     Salthill, Galway took their
                                                                                THippocratic Oath to the extreme
                                                                                when one donated a kidney to the
                                                                                other last year.
                                                                                  Mother of three, Dr. Ruth Smith
                                                                                (46), originally from Douglas, Cork
                                                                                and Dr. Noel Howard (39), a Galway
                                                                                native and father of three, underwent
                                                                                their living donor kidney transplant at
                                                                                Beaumont Hospital in September
                                                                                  Working together for close to a
                                                                                decade their personal lives also had
                                                                                come to overlap more and more.
                                                                                Socialising with their spouses and
                                                                                having three young children each they
                                                                                regularly found themselves sharing
                                                                                common interests.
                                                                                  Ruth said, “When I was in my mid-
                                                                                twenties I was diagnosed with Chronic
                                                                                Kidney Disease (CKD) and I knew that
                                                                                it was probable that dialysis treatment
                                                                                was coming down the tracks. I took
                                                                                control of my condition and managed
                                                                                to stave off dialysis until the beginning
                                                                                of last year when my kidney function
                                                                                had deteriorated to a point where it
                                                                                needed intervention. I then started to
                                                                                undergo peritoneal dialysis which I
                                                                                took through the night for eight hours
                                                                                at a time. By nature I am a positive
                                                                                person and I was content that while I
                                                                                was feeling quite tired, I was able to
                                                                                continue doing what I love to do,
                                                                                caring for my patients. I was
                                                                                determined that my health would not
                                                                                impact on my children as I continued
                                                                                to bring them to and from school and
                                                                                their activities. However, I did worry
                                                                                about the unknown and how my
                                                                                kidney condition would progress and
                                                                                that if I became very ill how it might
        Dr Ruth Smith and Dr Noel Howard                                        impact on my family life and financial
                                                                                obligations which my husband and
                                                                                myself were committed to. However
        Galway doctor                                                           we were optimistic and getting on
                                                                                with life.”
                                                                                  She explained, “Within weeks of
                                                                                me telling Noel that I would be going
                                                                                on dialysis and need a kidney
        donates kidney                                                          had reached a decision together and
                                                                                transplant, Noel and his wife Róisín

                                                                                told me that Noel would go forward
                                                                                to be screened for living kidney
                                                                                donation. Obviously this came as a
        to colleague                                                            my husband Alan were completely
                                                                                huge surprise to me and myself and
                                                                                overwhelmed by their profound act of
                                                                                kindness. Once I was listed on the
                                                                                kidney transplant waiting pool Noel

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