My 1st Blog – the phone call that changed my life….

Welcome to my first blog post – so here goes!

My 11 July started off as just a normal day on the farm when I got the phone call that would change everything! It wasn’t sugar-coated or dressed up & really took a while to sink in – my transplanted kidney was coming out & life would never be the same again.

August really turned out to be a month of change for me. Although I have been going through so many tests since January things started to move very quickly from that July phone call & I had my transplanted kidney removed at Belfast City Hospital on 1 August!

3 hour surgery to remove it & put in my two dialysis lines – one for home & the other for hospital dialysis (PD & Haemo for those in the know!).

I’m now on Dialysis Monday’s, Wednesday’s & Friday’s at Daisy Hill Hospital which means arriving in Newry at (or just after!) 8am & spending the next four hours hooked up to a machine. The nurses are super & look after the four of us (it’s 4 patients to a ward) really well!

Oh, while I remember let me give a wee shout out for my new Twitter account @DialysisDobson – would be great if you could give me a follow!

I’ve started blogging because I want to give people updates on my progress & to highlight the light & humorous side (yes, there is one) to being a 24 year old on dialysis!

Watching United play today (going to win the League this Season!), took a run up to Costa in Banbridge for a wee cup of tea & a caramel square (more about my new renal diet in later blog posts but this was a ‘wee’ weekend treat!) & read today’s Belfast Telegraph which has featured our story as ‘The Big Saturday Read.’ You can access it here – ‘I won’t hesitate to give Mark one of my kidneys, like any mother I’d do anything to help my son’.

In future blogs Mum will be pitching in with her experiences as well & I am sure there will be plenty of quirky pics & snappy slogans along the way BUT the central message will never change – it’s simple & its true – through organ donation everyone has it within them to be a lifesaver!

Over & out for now!



‘Give me a Break’ – My Second Blog

It’s been a hectic few weeks since I published my first Dialysis Blog! Just wanted to update you all on all the up’s…. and a few downs as well.

On the positive side my Mum & I had a super mid-week break living it up at the Grand Hotel, Malahide. We shot down the carriageway from Newry after Wednesday’s dialysis session & were driving through Malahide village in no time.

Lovely to get some time to relax & unwind at our ‘renal retreat’ after the surgery & the shock of being hooked into a three time a week cycle of Dialysis. We even managed (look away any renal nurses reading this) to bring my weekend treat forward, having a lovely steak and chips!!

Then back home Thursday afternoon to be back at Daisy Hill for 8(ish) on Friday morning for another haemodialysis session & the continued PD (peritoneal dialysis) training which mum & I have been receiving – this is for home dialysis. It was fun hooking up a dummy but got more real as mum had to hook me up to the machine!


We’re in the expert hands of the SUPERB Sarah & Liz (Specialist PD Nurses!!) who have been guiding us through over 35, (YES 35 steps!!) to set up my home dialysis machine & hook myself up for the 8 hour overnight home dialysis. (It’s done every night rather than Monday, Wednesday & Friday)


From expert hands to expert feet – NORTHERN IRELAND are certainly on the way to RUSSIA!! (and so am I with Dialysis machine in tow) Not even dialysis was going to stop me joining my Granda and my cousin Alex from Daring to Dream with the Green And White Army at Windsor Park last Monday night as they WON 2-0 against the Czech Republic. We are MASSIVE fans for many years & Michael O’Neill is giving us all some amazing highs!! RUSSIA – here comes Norn Iron!! I reminded them before the match that they go for 90 minutes that day, but I was hooked up for 240!


I should say that we got to stay in Malahide and also attended the match thanks to the help of Dr Neal Morgan who gave me some antibiotics to help clear up a painful infection I had developed in my Haemo line – they were worried about it but the anti-biotics seem to be doing the trick!

All the Home Dialysis training has been quite a learning curve for Mum & I but all was going really well……. in training that is!

However all that was to change with the arrival of a HUGE pallet of home dialysis boxes & bags which Baxter International’s driver Davy delivered to the house. It was like a new Hospital was opening up in Waringstown as we got everything from Dialysis Fluid Bags to Bandages and Scissors to Wipes oh and of course my new dialysis machine arrived in its own suitcase (all ready for Russia!!).


Night one of home dialysis arrived last Tuesday – Liz came out to Mum & I & together we sorted all of the bits & pieces & got my new Dialysis Machine (we haven’t named it just yet) all hooked up and ready. Everything was going so smoothly!

Smoothly that is until it came time that night for me to connect my PD line and start dialysis (at home) for the first time! It just didn’t work at all & after a longggggg late-night phone call with Sarah Mum and I decided to switch it off, call it a night & head to Newry as usual on Wednesday morning.

A few appointments later & they thought everything was getting sorted out for my PD to work again – but, it wasn’t to be! On Thursday night it came to a painful head & I ended up in the City Hospital in the very capable & reassuring hands of my Consultant Surgeon Tim Brown on Friday afternoon.

I have some surgery to come again at the City on Tuesday & we are all hoping we can get the PD back on line again! All our fingers and toes are crossed!

Over and out for now – will be back again soon with some more renal reality. Please help to promote my blog by giving it a retweet or a follow – @DialysisDobson ! As Tesco says, every little helps and I really want as many people as possible to hear about the reality of being a renal patient!