Wednesday 28 September 2016

Campaign seeks to raise awareness on donation of organs

Published 01/04/2016 | 02:30

John's granddaughters Meabh, Doireann and Áine #HaveTheChatsolid
John's granddaughters Meabh, Doireann and Áine #HaveTheChatsolid

The #HaveTheChat campaign is a social media drive set up by the family and friends of Munster man John P O'Sullivan, from Lispole in County Kerry, to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation.

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It also highlights the importance of informing next of kin of your wishes regarding the donation or your organs and tissue in the event of your death.

John, a father of four, suffers from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and following his deterioration at the end of 2015, was assessed for lung transplantation and placed on the active list in early March 2016. John is currently on oxygen 24 hours a day and his only hope to lead a full and healthy life again is with lung transplantation.

The #HaveTheChat campaign stresses that even if you carry an organ donor card, it is your next of kin that makes the final decision regarding the donation of your organs in the event of your death. The campaign urges people to #HaveTheChat with family members about their wishes regarding organ donation so that in the event of their death their organs will not go to waste.

Michelle, John's daughter, explains, "We set up the campaign because we found out that over 35pc of eligible organs are not donated as the families of the deceased do not consent to the organs being transplanted.

"Obviously, it is a very hard thing to consider given the circumstances in which the decision must be made, which is why we are urging people to #HaveTheChat with their families now to make the decision easier in the event of a death."

The #HaveTheChat campaign challenges people to first #HaveTheChat with your next of kin and family and become a donor (by texting Donor to 50050 to receive a donor card, ticking the box on your driver's licence or downloading the Irish Kidney Association donor e-card on your phone) as well as nominating three people on your social media page to do the same.

Feel free to post pictures/videos/messages about "having the chat" or of your experience of organ donation on the #HaveTheChat Facebook or Twitter pages.

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