Mum's appeal for kidney donor for her son generates more than 200 calls to donor hotline in a day

It can be tough being a mum.

But when you have two young children in need of a kidney transplant life can be particularly hard.

Dionne Cartmill's three-year-old son Olly and five month old daughter Etta both have a rare genetic disease affecting their kidneys and liver.

Etta, who has just returned to the family's Co Armagh home after three months in hospital, will need a kidney transplant when she is older.

But big brother Olly needs one urgently as dialysis is no longer working as well as it had been.

"Olly needs a transplant in order to grow basically and to give them a better life," his mother Dionne told UTV.

She added: "We met with the transplant doctor and he has agreed to transplant Olly as soon as we get a kidney. So we really need one fast."

Around 130 people in Northern Ireland are currently waiting for a kidney transplant. More than 100 kidney transplants are performed in Belfast every year.

Olly's family hope that a suitable donor will be found for him before his condition deteriorates further.

This week Dionne and her husband Neil made an emotional appeal on social media for potential donors to come forward.

Within hours more than 200 calls were made to the kidney donor advice line, with staff struggling to answer the phone lines.

"At the minute I am just overwhelmed. We were not expecting so many people to come forward," said Dionne.

"I'd like to say thank you very much to everybody who lifted the phone and sent the email off," she added.

Despite the generosity of family, friends and strangers it could still take some time for a match to be found. Until then, it will be an emotional wait for the Cartmill family - and they will have to go through it all over again in a few years with Etta.

Details on kidney donation can be found on

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