Bernard is eight years old and has attended Children’s University Hospital Temple Street since he was a baby. Charities Institute Ireland spoke to Bernard’s dad, Bernard Snr.
“Bernard has been on dialysis since he was born. He was born with renal failure and he was on home dialysis for a while but that didn’t really work out; he picked up infections. Then he was about four years on haemodialysis, which he had to travel to Temple Street for. We live out near Clifden in Galway so we had to travel to Dublin and back three times a week for bloods and check-ups.
In December, Bernard got a new kidney from a donor.
He had the transplant at Temple Street. It’s nerve wracking to be in that situation. The call came at about 2 o’clock in the morning so we had to get him up and head for Dublin. We got there around 7am and then he spent all day in theatre.
On the call, Temple Street tried to keep us from being too nervous. They told us everything was going to be OK and gave us the proceedings for the day. Bernard was in hospital for about three weeks after the transplant and they monitored him carefully and kept his mood up too. The nurses are always in good form and they can get the Play Therapist to come and visit the kids too. If they’re down or cross she’ll come to them and play a game or bring them to the playroom. It’s been good for Bernard. They make it as homely as possible for the kids.
Now, Bernard only has to travel to Temple Street for check-ups once every three weeks.
He has days where he’ll get a bit down if he’s not 100%, but he’s fairly used to it and he’s doing well since he had the transplant. There’s a big change in him now. It’s a whole different ball game at home. We have more time together now. He can wrap everybody around his finger with that cheeky little smile.”