Fifteen months after he received a kidney transplant from his father, a Clonmel teenager has flown halfway across the world to compete in the World Transplant Games.
15 year-old Andrew Duncan from Powerstown is competing in four events - badminton singles, squash, table tennis singles and tennis singles - at the games in Durban, South Africa, which started last weekend and continue until this Sunday, August 4.
The rollercoaster ride that Andrew has endured in the past couple of years began when he went to hospital in Clonmel for a minor procedure to remove a verucca from his foot. However when his blood pressure was checked before the operation it was so high it was “off the Richter scale”, according to his father Malcolm. His blood pressure was double checked with a different monitor but the result was the same, and within a couple of hours Andrew was in the Intensive Care Unit of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin.
Initially his condition was managed through a combination of diet and medication but after a while it became apparent that he would need a kidney transplant, and he was placed on dialysis.
Malcolm and Andrew’s mother Audrey - who has accompanied him to South Africa - offered themselves as live donors and fortunately both were ideal candidates. On March 12 2012 Andrew was admitted to hospital in Temple Street while Malcolm went to Beamount hospital, and the operation was performed successfully. Malcolm said that the new kidney began to function immediately and Andrew made a great recovery.
“The fact that Andrew made such a rapid recovery and is able to compete in four events at the World Tansplant Games less than a year and-a-half later is testament to the care he received in Temple Street and the co-operation between Temple Street and Beaumont hospitals”, says Malcolm.
Andrew completed his Junior Certificate at Rockwell College last month. An avid racquet ball player, he is a member of Hillview Sports Club in Clonmel.