LITTLE Sofia Corey got to taste her first ever Easter Egg this weekend in the back garden of her home in Walkinstown, Dublin.
The seven-year-old has been a kidney patient from birth and due to the diet restrictions of her illness she was denied chocolate.
That all changed and her penchant for chocolate developed quickly after she received a life changing transplant just before Christmas last year.
Her parents Elaine McElroy and Daniel Corey are sharing their only child’s health story in support of Organ Donor Awareness Week 2021 which concludes this weekend.
Sofia was born a month prematurely and was diagnosed with the kidney condition Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome when she was just seven weeks old.
She became a patient at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin and had one of her kidneys removed at six months old.
When she was two and half years old her parents were trained up to give her nightly dialysis treatment which she underwent at home for 12 hours at a time.
Mum Elaine explained: “Because of Covid-19 and as a transplant patient in the high-risk category, she has been cocooning for over a year away from her school friends.
“We are so grateful to the kidney donor for finally giving Sofia a chance of a normal childhood. Both myself and Sofia’s father were extremely disappointed to learn that neither of us were suitable kidney donors.
“Sofia had to reach 12kg in weight and 90cm in length in order to be accepted onto the transplant wating list. She needed to be big enough to be able to receive a donor kidney. She was five years old before she reached the required size.
“Then Daniel and I began the screening process for living donation which turned out to be unsuccessful. We can never thank the donor family enough who transformed Sofia’s life.”
Sofia hopes to be reunited with her school friends in September when she starts first class. In the meantime – like most kids – she’s developed a fondness for chocolate.
Elaine said: “This is her first Easter to enjoy Easter eggs, just like her friends. She is totally free from dialysis now, she is much more active and she no longer has diet and fluid restrictions.
“I would urge everyone to try to understand the importance of organ donation. A donor has given Sofia a chance to have a normal childhood.”
PHOTO – Conor McCabe Photography