A 28-year-old Limavady man has bravely spoken out about the devastating moment he was told he was in kidney failure and would need a transplant.
Sean McKeever’s life was turned upside down last month when he was told both his kidneys had failed.
“It was devastating,” said Sean, a quantity surveyor.
What was so shocking for Sean and everyone who knows him is, other than a shortness of breath recently, he is a healthy sporty young man. He loves playing golf and is a member of Limavady Wolfhounds GAC, playing at corner forward.
But last month, Sean was feeling so unwell he went to RoeDoc in Limavady. From there he was sent to his local GP who checked his blood pressure and ran tests. That same day, Sean was referred to A&E in Altnagelvin hospital. Within hours he was told the life changing news.
“It was devastating when they told me, and all these things go through your mind like ‘what about work?’ I couldn’t believe it.”
Sean is receiving dialysis three times a week at Altnagelvin Hospital, with sessions lasting several hours.
Other than tiredness, he says he is responding well to the gruelling treatment.
He said his family – mum Eileen, dad Gerard, sister Patricia and brother Michéal – are being tested to see if any are a transplant match.
Sean’s girlfriend, Ciara McFeely will also be tested.
Refusing to let his condition beat him, Sean is confident that he will receive a transplant. He is getting trained to administer home dialysis, something he hopes will improve his quality of life. Sean’s condition means a number of changes, including diet and lifestyle, but he is looking forward to the future, to getting back to work, and a summer concert in Dublin to see Fleetwood Mac.
Sean is extremely thankful for all the support he is receiving which “means a lot”.
Sean said the support in the last month has been brilliant, and not just from his family, girlfriend and close friends, but from others.
Among them are fellow Limavady man Brian McNicholl and gaelic football friends who are organising a ‘Fire Walk’ fundraiser in the summer.
“Sean is a good chap. I’ve known him a long time and this is life-changing. He’s young and this has turned his life upside down,” said Brian, who is looking for 50 volunteers to take part in the event in July.
“It’s just a few friends who want to help,” said Brian.
Such support means the world for Sean and his loved ones.
“It means a lot that people are going out of their way to help you,” said Sean. “It definitely gives you a lift.”
The fundraising Fire Walk takes place at The Alexander Arms in Limavady on July 31st.
If you would like to volunteer, contact Brian McNicholl via the Facebook page ‘Supporting Sean’