Unlocking a long-held secret reunites a family — and saves a man's life
This story spans more than three-quarters of a century and includes a deeply hidden family secret that was discovered just in time to turn a tragedy into a miracle.
At the centre of it is 33-year-old Patrick Hennessy, who has a rare, genetic disease called X-linked Alport syndrome that almost inevitably leads to kidney failure. Hennessy’s maternal uncle died from it, which is how the family found out that it is in their genes.
In February 2016, he went to St. Paul’s Kidney Care Clinic as a precaution before signing a contract to work as a chef on a private yacht. The news Hennessy received stunned him.
Daphne Bramham reports
Dr. Michael O'Shaughnessy