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Mother’s Day Little Miracle

As Mother’s Day approaches on March 10th, a Cork woman’s journey from the depths of kidney disease diagnosis to the joy of motherhood culminates in a celebration of life, love, and the unwavering support and exceptional multidisciplinary care of medical teams at Cork University Hospital (CUH), and loved ones. Colette Hawe, 37, from Charleville in Cork, and her partner Morgan Lyons, recently welcomed their baby girl into the world, marking a ‘miracle’ milestone in her journey with kidney disease.

Diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) at the age of twenty-four, Colette then faced nearly a decade of uncertainty and worry about her health and the chance of ever becoming a mother. However, her journey took a turn for the better in January 2020 when she underwent a kidney transplant, paving the way for her to pursue her dream of starting a family.

Just a fortnight before Mother’s Day, at 34 weeks gestation, Colette gave birth to a beautiful fully developed baby girl, weighing in at 2 kilos (4.41 pounds). The proud parents named their little bundle Croía, an Irish name meaning ‘little heart’. The emotional event was made even more special by a special bedside visit from her Consultant Nephrologist, Prof. Liam Plant, who has been by her side every step of the way since her kidney disease diagnosis. While initially, as a pre-term baby, she was for a brief time monitored in CUH’s Neonatal ward, Croía is thriving, and her medical care has been stepped down. She is expected to join her doting parents at home in time for Mother’s Day.

Prof. Plant, known for his exceptional patient care and commitment to the renal community, is set to retire later this month. Baby Croía is the happy culmination of the last pregnancy of a renal patient he will have managed in close collaboration with the Obstetrics service at CUMH before his retirement. Throughout his career he has contributed to the safe journey towards birth of more than 50 babies for kidney transplant patient mothers, as well as many other babies whose mothers had other degrees of kidney failure.

Colette praises Prof. Liam Plant for his invaluable guidance and support, in managing her illness with compassion and expertise and the multidisciplinary care of specialists from an array of specialities that worked together.  The Nephrology service’s involvement extended beyond Liam Plant, whose Consultant Nephrologist colleague Dr. Sarah Moran worked closely with Consultant Obstetrician Prof. Nóirín Russell to ensure that Colette’s pregnancy planning and transplant anti-rejection and insulin medication adjustments were safe and effective.

Colette shared, “Our baby is truly a miracle, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude. For a long time I faced uncertainty of ever being able to have a successful pregnancy with my kidney disease and not knowing if I would end up on dialysis and how long I’d be on the waiting list for a transplant. Prof. Plant diagnosed my chronic kidney disease in 2014 following a referral from my GP to investigate if my two closely timed flare ups with gout were kidney related.  Since then, Prof. Plant has been more than a doctor to me; he has been a guardian angel. His retirement next week will mark the end of an era, but I am forever grateful for his unwavering support. Croía now holds the title of being Prof. Plant’s last kidney baby before he retires, and we are happy for her to have that special title!”

“I also would like to acknowledge the truly outstanding care of so many others at Cork University Hospital, including Consultant Nephrologist  Dr. Saran Moran, who helped manage my care throughout my pregnancy, Renal Nurse Phil O’Driscoll and the rest of the Renal team, Dr. Ora Kgosidialwa from the Endocrinology team who carefully guided me through my gestational diabetes, my Consultant Obstetrician Prof. Nóirín Russell and her team at CUMH, and also all the wonderful midwives and nurses who took exceptional care of me in labour and then my caesarean section, and everyone involved in Croía’s exceptional care in the neonatal who I consider to be angels. My family will be forever grateful to all who contributed to safe arrival of our beautiful baby daughter.”

Colette also expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the family of the deceased organ donor whose selfless gift made her transplant possible. “I am eternally grateful to the donor and their family for giving me a second chance at life and the opportunity to become a mother. They have left an incredible legacy with their gift of life to me and my family and now the circle of life continues with Croía.”

Colette added, “I want to give special mention to my amazing partner Morgan who has known me since before I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and he has been a rock of support, and now I know he will be a wonderful father. My parents Richard and Angela Hawe from Ballyhea continue to be great loving parents to me and my two brothers and they are now absolutely thrilled to be grandparents to Croía.”

In addition to her medical team and loved ones, Colette said, “As this will be the first year for me to celebrate Mother’s Day and our little miracle of life, and with World Kidney Day taking place next week, it’s a good time to remember the important work the Irish Kidney Association does in raising awareness about kidney health and supporting thousands of patients like me.”

Prof. Plant said, “One of the greatest privileges of my professional life has been to participate in the joyful event of mothers with renal transplants being able to have a baby. Few events more powerfully illustrate the remarkable gift that organ donation represents. All new babies are special, but few are as special as these. Their births are a testament to the amazing resilience of patients with kidney disease and their families”.

World Kidney Day on 14th March, is a global initiative aimed at promoting kidney health. With an estimated 1 in 10 people and 1 in 7 over the age of 50 in Ireland having chronic kidney disease, and many are unaware they have it, the Irish Kidney Association’s campaign in partnership with the HSE National Renal Office, focuses on the importance of health screening and early detection of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in slowing down its progression. The campaign also aims to highlight how diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, are linked to CKD and vice versa. For more information on this visit

This year marks a significant milestone as the Irish Kidney Association, which was founded in 1978, as it reinstates a national fundraising campaign after a four-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the week around World Kidney Day on 14th March, volunteers, many of whom are patients themselves, will be back in ALDI stores, and other locations across the country, distributing free organ donor cards and collecting vital funds to support patients in need, through the sale of the Irish Kidney Association’s Forget-me-Not flower emblems, which are also available to buy online from the IKA Forget-Me-Not Virtual Garden