World record holder awards Tallaght University Hospital the gold

by Rachel Cunningham
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Dubbed the flying doctor, Ron Grainger set two world records at the World Transplant Games in Perth earlier this year, 20 years after he received a kidney transplant at Tallaght University Hospital (TUH).

Competing in the 70 -79 age category, Ron won the gold in the 100 and 200m and marked this milestone by presenting the Vartry Renal Unit in TUH team with one of his gold medals.

“This is an incredibly generous gesture by Ron to the Vartry Renal Unit in TUH,” said Professor George Mellotte, Consultant Nephrologist.

“The gold medal is a very visible and impressive symbol of what can be achieved by someone living with a kidney transplant.

“It is incredibly important to maintain a healthy lifestyle after a transplant and Ron has well and truly gone the extra mile in what he has a achieved, he is an inspiration to all of the medical team and I am sure our patients getting treatment in our unit will be equally inspired by his achievements.”

The world record holder and kidney transplant patient lives in Dublin with his wife, Joyce, with whom he shares three children and eight grandchildren. 

He worked for many years as a consultant urologist at Tallaght University Hospital (TUH), during which time he was also treated by the hospital’s nephrology team. 

Ron was diagnosed with an inherited degenerative kidney disorder at the age of 32 and was aware that by his early 50s he would develop end-stage renal failure and would be in need of renal replacement therapy, either dialysis or transplant. 

“As chronic renal failure became a reality, my fitness levels deteriorated significantly,” said Ron.

“Receiving a kidney transplant at the age of 53 changed that and within nine weeks post-transplant, I returned to an extremely busy job as a Consultant Urologist here at TUH.” 

“Being a urologist, I had a clear understanding of my illness and its implications on my life but my knowledge didn’t interfere with my management by my wonderful skilled colleagues. I am the patient when being treated and trust those who care for me,” explained Ron.

“I had witnessed my father go through the process of dealing with renal failure and successful transplantation, so I suppose I always was very empathetic with my patients and their relatives, helped by my own experience.”

PHOTO – Lorraine O’Sullivan

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