Helen Turley from Castleknock with her son, Hugo. Picture: Conor McCabe

LITTLE Hugo Turley from Castleknock was given a new lease of life by his mum earlier this year when she donated one of her kidneys to her firstborn.
“I always joke we have an extra bond now that will last forever. I’ll be quizzing his girlfriends about their kidney stats when he is older,” she said.
Hugo, who is now three, developed kidney problems in the womb and was very ill for the first few years of his life.
He struggled daily. His mother said that almost anything made him vomit, running too fast or the smell of food in a restaurant.
“He wasn’t able to eat. He had such a sensitive gag reflex, everything tasted like metal because of his medication. He just had no interest in food,” his mum recalled.
He was forced to undergo at-home dialysis five nights a week for 10 hours at a time when he was just two.
Hugo was on a waiting list for a donor kidney but his parents were adamant that they wanted to be assessed to see if either of them was a match.
The likelihood that a parent will qualify for donation is high and the kidney received will last longer too.
Helen (32) said there was no hesitation on her part when it emerged that she was the one who could give Hugo a kidney.
“There was just this excitement in the house because we knew that this was what we needed to do to give him a new start in life,” she revealed.
“I feel honoured that I was the one who was able to give him such a precious gift,” she added.
In April both mother and son were prepped for surgery. Helen was to undergo her operation in Beaumont while Hugo waited in Temple Street for his new kidney.
Hugo’s dad David rushed between the two, waving both off to the theatre and returning in time for each of them to wake up.
In a bizarre turn he crossed paths at the hospital’s gates with the all-important ambulance.
“It was a really emotional day for David. I know he would have preferred if it was him who was donating, but we both knew it was a means to an end,” explained the Castleknock mum.
Both operations were successful and Hugo has been embracing his new-found health wholeheartedly according to his mother.
“He was able to go home after 10 days and immediately his appetite improved,” she said.
“He was just like any other child, he wanted to try everything.”
Hugo is now in pre-school and is gearing up for “big-school” next year.
“It really has been life-changing,” Helen said.
“We are so proud of him and all that he has been through.”