A CHESTER man has completed a 34-mile sponsored walk just a year after undergoing an organ transplant – joined by the brave son whose kidney donation gave him a new lease of life.
Michael Meehan, of Blacon, had already experienced one failed transplant and been on dialysis for a decade when son Kieron, 25, decided to give up one of his own kidneys to help his dad.
“I was getting worse with it. I was slowly deteriorating,” said Michael, 55, whose kidneys were damaged by a chronic disease he contracted at the age of eight.
“As you can imagine, I had mixed feelings. Initially elation that he would do this and then worry for him about what he was going to go through.
“It’s normally the other way round – you do it for your children.”
Kieron, who lives in Plas Newton, said: “It wasn’t a difficult decision to be honest. After the first transplant failed, I just thought ‘I’ll get it done myself’.”
The pair underwent surgery at Royal Liverpool University Hospital last June – and recovered so well they were able to mark the one year anniversary of their operation by tackling the Sandstone Trial.
They were joined on the walk by Michael’s younger son Conor, 23, and five friends, raising more than £2,000 for Mersey Kidney Research.
“I was just feeling so well. I wanted to do something for the hospital, for all the help the staff gave me, so I decided to do a walk,” said Michael.
Kieron has now applied to join the Navy, while Michael, who took voluntary redundancy last week after working for the Post Office for 35 years, is looking forward to making the most of his new found health.
“Honestly, it’s like I’ve been reborn. I just feel like I did 10 or 12 years ago,” he said.
Michael has nominated Kieron for Person of the year in the Trinity Mirror/ Scottish Power Your Champions Awards.
If you know someone who deserves a nomination, let us know at www.chesterchronicle.co.uk.
For more information about Mersey Kidney Research, visit www.merseykidneyresearch.org.
To learn about organ donation, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk.