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Former Westmeath Star John Egan Shares Story Of Lifesaving Kidney Transplant

Former Westmeath Star John Egan Shares Story Of Lifesaving Kidney Transplant
By Jonathan Byrne Updated
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Inter-county player John Egan has had a right time of it. The 30-year-old in normal circumstances should be winding down his club season with Athlone.

Instead, he's just after receiving a lifesaving kidney transplant from his father-in-law, Ollie. John told Hogan Stand about how it came about during Organ Donor Awareness week in March.

15 years ago, John was diagnosed with IGA Nephropathy, a chronic kidney disease that can ultimately lead to kidney failure.

He noticed he was passing blood in his urine, but he'd taken a blow to the kidney area playing for Westmeath U16s and thought that was the reason for it.

The blood still appeared days after so he decided to get checked by a professional. He spent time in Portiuncula Hospital and then Merlin Park University in Galway.

He thought he had a small kidney infection, but it eventually lead to an IGA Nephropathy diagnosis and spending almost three weeks in a hospital bed.

He closely monitored the disease over the years that followed, taking medication to help with blood pressure and kidney function.

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John said it affected his energy levels and performance on the pitch, but he got used to it over time.

After progressing through the Westmeath underage ranks and graduating college, it wasn't until 2018 when his kidney problems came to the fore again.

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In a pre-season medical with Westmeath GAA, his blood tests showed his kidney function had dropped to below thirty per cent.

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The Westmeath GAA doctor, Jerry Flynn, referred him to do more tests which led into the path of a kidney specialist.

Egan's 2018 season playing football was marred by drops in energy levels, cramping and overall fatigue. He suffered a serious knee injury at the end of the campaign.

This was enough for John to call time on his gaelic football playing days given his knee problems and the impact his kidney was having on his day-to-day life.

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After he finished playing, he went into management and has been part of the Athlone senior coaching panel, helping out the Westmeath U15s too.

In recent years, John's kidneys dropped below nine per cent of normal function, which led to cramps, swelling, fatigue and gout.

He was placed on a transplant waiting list after several months of appointment delays, due to the complications of Covid-19.

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After finally getting the go ahead, John's process involved being placed on dialysis before father-in-law Ollie provided a transplant.

Thankfully, John tweeted all are doing well in the aftermath.

The Irish Kidney Association (IKA) are encouraging people to carry a donor card, allow Code 115 to be included on their driver's licence and have a 'digital organ donor card' APP on their smartphone.

Organ Donor Cards can be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. You can also visit the website or download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone.

See Also: Watch: Clare Intermediate Football Final Flips In Dramatic 60 Seconds

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