JERRY McCarthy is celebrating 25 years of his life, although he is actually 52. But 25 years ago he received a kidney transplant, for which he is eternally grateful.
For years he was on dialysis, three times a week, prior to the kidney transplant that transformed his life – a life he has since lived richly and well.
Family and friends of Jerry’s will be gathering at the Old Market Bar in Bandon on November 20th to celebrate the event and to give thanks to the donor and his care team.
Jerry, who comes from a family of seven from Coolmain in Kilbrittain, has a learning disability and first attended the Cope services in Cork on a weekly basis.
He continued to receive care at St Patrick’s in Upton from 1980 until 11 years ago when he started living in the community in supported accommodation. And now he attends the brothers’ Rossmini Resource Centre in Bandon, which is run by the Brothers of Charity.
There he enjoys many activities, including the Men’s Shed, which is hardly surprising given that he never lost his love of the land and farming.
One of his care workers said: ‘Jerry loves gardening and is always seen digging, planting and sweeping in the beautiful, mature gardens Kidron in Roundhill in Bandon where he lives.’
He and his care worker also go to the mart on a regular basis and he has never missed an All-Ireland Ploughing Championship. He also visits his family regularly and has even been to Poland to visit his brother, Jim, on three occasions.
The successful kidney transplant has allowed Jerry to live a healthy, fulfilled life and both he and his family would like to thank the family of the donor and to highlight the Donor Awareness Campaign, which is run by the Irish Kidney Association.
The family would also like to thank his care workers, including his GP, Dr Maura O’Callaghan, and the doctors and nurses at Cork University Hospital, where he attends the Renal Cardiac Unit and the dietician on a regular basis.
The care worker said the 25th anniversary celebration on November 20th next is ‘a momentous occasion. His was one of the most successful transplants, and it highlights the good care he has received over the years.’