A young woman has told of her shock when she was diagnosed of a rare condition just weeks before her wedding day.
Sinéad Lowndes (29) is now waiting to receive several organ transplants.
Proud mum of Paige, Sinead was diagnosed with Budd Chiari Syndrome, which leaves her prone to blood clots, last November. The syndrome affects approximately one in a million adults worldwide.
She now needs a liver and small bowel transplant and, as a double organ transplant cannot be done in Ireland, Sinead is moving her young family to the UK as she awaits her operation.
Speaking to Independent.ie, Dublin woman Sinéad said she first visited the doctor in November after she had pains in her stomach and looked bloated.
“It was a very, very big shock,” she said.
“I had a pain in my tummy and I was very bloated, I looked about six or seven months pregnant. My GP was fantastic and told me to go to A+E.”
Sinéad was told by doctors that she would need a liver transplant and postponed her wedding until February.
“We had to delay the wedding but that’s only a very materialistic thing, we enjoyed our day and it was a great time but it was very ironic, as three days later, I had pains again,” she said.
A blood clot in her bowel was found. She was told that she as well as a liver transplant, she also needed a small bowel transplant.
The young woman, who is currently in hospital in St Vincent’s in Dublin, now must relocate to Cambridge in order to have her operations there, as double transplants cannot be performed in Ireland.
“There’s a lack of bowel specialists here but there’s no need for it here as it’s so rare. When we move to Cambridge, I’ll have routine assessments for the small bowel.
“We’re holding on to the hope that I’ll just need the liver transplant and not the bowel.
“I want to highlight the importance of becoming an organ donor,” she continued.
“There’s always somebody worse off than you and seeing the people in the corridors here, everyone should think about becoming an organ donor.”
Sinéad said she hopes she won’t have to stay in the UK for longer than a year.
Her sister Michelle Ross and a friend launched a GoFundMe fundraiser last Friday, which raised €67,680 of its €60,000 goal in a single day.
Donations will help pay for Sinéad’s family accommodation, as well as cover medical bills.
“I’m speechless and I don’t even know what to say, I just can’t believe it,” she said, speaking of people’s generosity.
“I am literally blown away by all of the support from family and friends, I would have always said they’re generous.
“I can’t believe that people who don’t know me have gone out of their way to share the fundraiser and to donate,” she added.