A former Coalisland man who gave his cousin a new kidney on Organ Donation Week a year ago, says he would do the same thing again.
Raymond Hughes and his cousin Briege Dorman, who still lives in the Tyrone town, have enjoyed good health after recovering from the operation.
“I would say to anyone thinking of giving an organ to think things through and weigh everything up,” he said.
He admits to feeling nervous before the transplant took place at Belfast City Hospital last September.
Raymond, who is suffers from epilepsy was concerned he might have a seizure while undergoing the surgery, but the doctors cleared him for surgery.
At the time, Briege was struggling with pain and having to endure regular dialysis. She had lost one of her kidneys to cancer, and then the other one stopped working.
“It’s a gift to be able to change someone’s life,” enthused Raymond, who is looking forward to a big family reunion in Manchester in November.
The event will also coincide with Briege’s 58th birthday.
The cousins meet up as often as they can and Briege has been able to enjoy the simple things in life she had been missing out on.
Fifty-three-year-old Raymond said seeing Briege’s transformation puts things in perspective.
“It’s within the capacity of us all to help someone who desperately needs our help,” he said. “It’s just having the courageous to take that step.”
A year on the duo hope their story- and good health - will inspire others to consider organ donation.
Call 0300 123 23 23 for details on how to register, and give someone on the waiting list hope that they will be able to live life to the full.