Strange Boat - Organ Donation Awareness


Heart transplant recipient remembered

Family and friends of the late Austin Dobson, came together for a fundraising event in Oldcastle in Co. Meath (January 21st)  to remember and celebrate Austin's life and to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation. 

Austin Dobson suffered many years of ill-health having been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in 2004, and in September 2014 he was placed on a heart transplant waiting list. Two months later, when his family thought he would not survive much longer, the good news came that a suitable heart had become available. His transplant operation was very successful and he was at home with his family within 3 weeks. Austin was not only a recipient but he also donated the valves of his old heart which were later implanted in a new born baby.

Unfortunately, in July 2015 Austin was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer which he fought courageously but in October, 2016, Austin passed away.  

In his memory, a close friend and relation, Lena O'Reilly and her husband Joe, for whom Austin was best man at their wedding in 1967, organised a "sponsored shave" instead of a 50th anniversary party, for a charity of the choice of Austin's Family.  The event held at Smith's Railway Bar in Old Castle in January with the assistance of Kevin and Catriona Delaney, was a huge success and raised €2,600 for the Galway-based charity, Strange Boat Donor Foundation who created the Circle of Life National Organ Donor Commemorative Garden in Salthill, Galway.  This garden was according to Noeleen, Austin's wife, "Austin's favourite place".

Noeleen Dobson (left) and Lena O'Reilly presenting Denis & Martina Goggin with a cheque for €2,600 for the Circle of Life Garden where Austin will always be remembered.

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