"Nurses are coming in, putting their lives at risk, to save our lives. They are the real superheroes."

A Donegal woman who has lived with kidney failure for 17 years has started a campaign to give back to Letterkenny’s Renal Dialysis Unit.

Caroline Mc Bride, aged 45, started a GoFundMe this week in appreciation of the care and kindness she receives from staff at Letterkenny University Hospital.

Caroline Mc Bride

The Lifford mum-of-three is currently at end-stage kidney failure and waiting on a transplant. But the ‘amazing’ staff at LUH make every treatment more comfortable with their outstanding care. 

Caroline said: “Things are so difficult at the moment but the staff are amazing. They are always very obliging, especially with me having young kids, they work around you. Nothing is ever a bother to them.”

Caroline’s two eldest children recently came up with an idea to thank the medical team via GoFundMe. Now, Caroline is spearheading the online campaign to collect money for gifts for the staff.

“My son and daughter could see donations coming into the hospital and they wanted to make sure something could be done for the Renal Unit staff and patients,” she said.

“This money will be used to gifts for the staff, even if it means just getting them their dinner for the day.”

Caroline visits Letterkenny University Hospital three days a week for four-hour dialysis treatments. She also has lupus, and her most recent time on dialysis has stretched over five years. She isolating due to being at high-risk of Covid-19 at the moment, but she has always had brilliant support from her family and husband Neil during her illness. 

Caroline McBride and her daughters Riley and Rhianna

Spending such a long period of time in the dialysis unit has led Caroline to get to know all staff and develop a deep respect for their work, especially during the pandemic. 

“The staff are just my second family. They would go out of their way to do anything for you,” she said. 

“Dialysis is like going to a part-time job with no pay. But I am so grateful the machines are there, because the way things are at the minute, all transplants are put on hold apart from emergency heart and liver.

“We depend on those machines to keep us living.”

Caroline is hopeful that she will get the call for her transplant when the healthcare sector returns to some form of normality. In the meantime, she wants to treat the heroes that are keeping her and all patients alive.

“Nurses are coming in, putting their lives at risk, to save our lives. They are the real superheroes,” Caroline said.

“If people don’t want to donate online, they can leave a donation with me, or if any business wants to donate masks or hand sanitiser, everything is appreciated.”

Visit Caroline’s GoFundMe page at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/5k-walk-r-run-with-in-your-2km-radius