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  • Southside

Southside boy’s organ donor appeal

Tuesday, 26th December, 2017 10:00am
Southside boy’s organ donor appeal

Vivienne pictured with Luke

Southside boy’s organ donor appeal

Vivienne pictured with Luke

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A YOUNG Southside boy is encouraging families gathering together over the festive season to discuss organ donation.

Luke Herlihy (10) and his kidney donor father, Shane, joined RTÉ News reporter, Vivienne Traynor (pictured right) before Christmas to highlight an important awareness campaign organised by the Irish Kidney Association.

Earlier this year, Luke, from Sandycove, received the ultimate gift from his father, Shane, when their living donor transplant operations took place on April 6, during Organ Donor Awareness Week 2017.

One of Shane’s kidneys was removed at Beaumont Hospital and soon afterwards Luke underwent his life-changing kidney transplant at Temple Street Hospital. 

Vivienne, from Skerries, who is also a living donor, said: “I was delighted to be invited by the IKA to support this campaign.”

An ambassador for organ donation, Vivienne is also lending her voice for a radio advert which is running on radio stations over Christmas.

“As families gather for the festivities, Christmas offers an ideal opportunity for them to take the time to discuss organ donation and let their loved ones know their wishes.

“It is your next-of-kin who will make the decision in the event of your untimely death and that’s why the campaign’s message is all about encouraging families to #HAVE THE CHAT.”

Vivienne added: “Like myself, the Herlihy family has seen first-hand the benefit of organ donation and the huge transformation that transplantation brings.

“My nephew Martin benefitted from the ‘gift of life’ twice.

“In 2009, I donated a kidney to Martin and afterwards he could resume a normal life away from dialysis treatment, he could continue to work, and he became a father for the first time to son, Ted who is now four years old. 

“A few years later, Martin’s kidney function began to fail again.

“Martin did not have to wait long before he was called for another transplant in 2014, this time from a deceased organ donor of a stranger family who made the selfless decision to donate their loved one’s organs at a time of great sadness.

“Since then, Martin and his partner Mary’s lives have become even busier as they now have two more beautiful children, daughters Daisy (2) and Billie (8 months).

“I would urge families to think about organ donation this Christmas, talk about it and let their wishes be known.” 

Kidney donor father Shane Herlihy explained: “I am supporting the campaign to help raise awareness and encourage people to consider organ donation as it can be transformational for the recipients. 

“In my son Luke’s case, he never experienced normal kidney function as he was born with kidney failure and suffered complications that go along with it.

“I was delighted and proud to have been able to proceed with the live donation, and am very grateful for the excellent care that Luke and I both received from the medical teams in Temple Street and Beaumont Hospitals.

“Crumlin Children’s Hospital also deserves great credit as they not only saved Luke’s life in the critical early days but also brought him to the point where he was able to receive a kidney transplant.”

Shane added: “Luke has always been a lively outgoing child. Since his transplant he has much more energy and can focus more in school. 

“He no longer has a restricted diet and has developed a voracious appetite.

“He is an avid sports enthusiast and has returned to playing Gaelic with his local club, Cuala GAA. 

He could not wait until Santa visited himself and his younger brothers when for the first time he enjoyed the same Christmas dinner as the rest of his family.”

In January Luke and Shane will travel to Anzere, Switzerland where Luke will take part in a ski camp which runs alongside the World Transplant Winter Games.

Shane will also take part in a special event there for living donors.

For organ donor cards Freetext DONOR to 50050 or visit

Your wishes to be an organ donor can also be included on the new driving licence.


 Vivienne pictured with Luke and his kidney donor father, Shane.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here