Wednesday 16 October 2019

Counting the days: Sadhbh (4) lives in hope of a lifesaving new liver

Sadhbh Browne (age 4) from Mountbellow, Co Galway who is waiting for a liver transplant
Sadhbh Browne (age 4) from Mountbellow, Co Galway who is waiting for a liver transplant
Grainne and Conor Wyse attended on behalf of family
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Little Sadhbh Browne is among hundreds of children and adults who are desperate for a lifesaving transplant.

Sadhbh (4), from Mountbellew, Co Galway, has been on the transplant list for a new liver since last summer and her parents Deirdre and Patrick are living in hope of getting a matching organ soon.

The family was among a gathering at the Mansion House in Dublin at the launch of Organ Donor Awareness Week, where a special plea was made to be mindful of the generous relatives of donors.

Mary Verbruggan, from Oughterard, Co Galway, who has been a diabetic since her teens, had a living donor kidney transplant over a year ago.

She received the organ from her brother Tom and is now on the waiting list for a pancreatic transplant.

If he had not shown such kindness, his sister may have run out of time due to her unusual blood group.

Kidney donor Tom Gleeson from Kilcoole Co Wicklow and his kidney recipient sister Mary Verbruggan
Kidney donor Tom Gleeson from Kilcoole Co Wicklow and his kidney recipient sister Mary Verbruggan

But she reminded everyone that behind the emotional story and gift of transplant surgery, the families of donors can sometimes be forgotten.

In her case, it was her sister-in-law Ashling who was the quiet hero.

"Tom's wife Ashling gave me and my children huge support," she told the gathering, which also included the loved ones of donors.

Also among the gathering was the Wyse family from Lanesborough, Co Longford, whose late brother Ruairi (37) saved five lives through donation of his organs.

He died after he suffered a fatal aneurysm.

Irish Independent

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