The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has welcomed a very special guest to Cloonavin as part of a campaign to raise awareness about organ donation.
Three-year-old Dáithí MacGabhann, who is currently waiting for a heart transplant, made the journey to Coleraine from his home in Belfast along with his mum and dad Seph and Máirtín. They are behind the Donate4Dáithí initiative, a family and community inspired drive to get more people on to the Organ Donor Register.
Born in October 2016 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, Dáithi’s wait for a new heart continues but his parents hope that his case will highlight the importance of registering as a donor.
The Mayor Councillor Sean Bateson said: “Dáithí and his family have demonstrated great resilience and determination and their organ donation campaign should be applauded and commended. In the wake of such a difficult time, they are doing everything they can to make a positive difference. None of us know when we might find ourselves in a similar situation. By signing the register and speaking to our family about want we want, we can all help to save lives.”
“I hope that welcoming Daithí and his family to Cloonavin will encourage the wider community to realise the importance of organ donation and how it can change lives.”
Only 47% of the population here are registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Every year, around 40 children are waiting on a heart transplant across Ireland and the UK.
Dáithí’s father Máirtin said: “We were delighted to receive the Mayor’s invitation to this event and with his support for our Donate4Dáithí campaign and the wider campaign for NHS Organ Donation. We have been campaigning now for over 18 months, and the support we have received has been fantastic. The Causeway Coast, especially Ballycastle, is like a second home to us, and to have the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council support and recognise our campaign is just amazing.”
In Northern Ireland 9 people died in 2018 without getting the lifesaving operation they required and currently in Northern Ireland 142 people are waiting on a transplant.
The Mayor added: “These figures are startling and should make us all think again about organ donation. There are no age restrictions to joining the register and signing up is quick and easy. Dáithí deserves the chance to live a long and fulfilled life. I would urge everyone to show their support for this inspiring little boy and his family by pledging to become an organ donor.”
Mary McAfee Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation said: “Since last April in Northern Ireland, 42 donors and their families generously said yes to organ donation, giving the gift of life to 114 recipients. But we need more families to agree to donation for more transplants to take place so that people like Dáithí may have the opportunity to receive a life-saving transplant and live a normal fulfilling life.”
For more information about #Donate4 Dáithí go to www.donate4Dáithi.org/ or facebook.com/Donate4Daithi.
To find out more about organ donation and to sign the register go to www.organdonationni.info