Strange Boat - Organ Donation Awareness



Forever grateful for their new lives

Dear Donor Family,

I am the extremely lucky and eternally grateful recipient of your loved one's kidney. On the 6th September, I received a call at 2.30 am which changed my life. The call was from Phyllis, the transplant co-ordinator from Beaumont Hospital, advising me that a nearly perfect kidney match to mine had been donated by a donor family and requesting me to come to the hospital as soon as possible. I was operated on a couple of hours later and the transplant was a great success. Since that unforgettable day, I have wanted to write to you to try and express my gratitude to you and your loved one for the precious gift you have given me, but have found it extremely difficult to find the right words.

I am acutely aware that while I have been given the gift of life, your loved one has been taken from you, and in trying to explain how much the gift from your loved one means to me and my family, I hope I have not upset you. As I mentioned at the beginning, there really are no words that can adequately express how much the gift I received from your loved one means to me. It is a precious, unique and priceless gift that I will cherish and nurture for the rest of my life.

Thank you,

An eternally grateful recipient

(An excerpt from a letter written by a recipient to a donor family)

Vera's story

In 1988, I was diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Failure. Initially, I was shocked but soon got over that and got on with my life. My youngest son was only six years of age and I had a family to look after. I was given a second chance of life when I received my kidney transplant fifteen years ago and I have never looked back since.

Read more: Vera's story


Karol's story

I was considered a fit and healthy 31-year-old. So, when in mid-March 2006 I felt unwell, I assumed I had a tummy bug or possibly food poisoning. After a few days, however, my condition deteriorated and I became somewhat disorientated, lethargic and increasingly nauseous. My abdomen became so distended that I couldn’t see my feet! My back began to ache and I developed a dreadful right shoulder pain...

Read more: Karol's story


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