Organ Donation

Louth mum's remarkable heart transplant story

Organ Donor Awareness Week

David Lynch

Reporter:

David Lynch

Louth mum's remarkable heart transplant story

Bronagh Daly with her family and RTE star Joe Duffy

In December 2010 local mum-of-two Bronagh Daly suffered a massive heart attack while leaving her house at Greenore with her two young children while busy getting ready for Christmas.

Her daughters, Orla and Roisin, were just two and six years of age. She was 40 at the time.

Bronagh’s heart was so badly damaged that she required an urgent heart transplant in order to survive.

She was hospitalised for two months until a suitable heart became available, in February 2011.

Bronagh had always led a very active life playing badminton and golf, and she is also a keen walker who walked every day.

As she was so active and healthy it came as a great shock to her husband John and her family that she had a heart attack.

Thankfully, her transplant was a huge success and rather remarkably, eight years on from it she was delighted with the news that another relative enjoyed the gift of life through transplantation for the second time.

Bronagh’s husband John’s uncle and aunt underwent a living donor kidney transplant in Belfast on 11th February 2019.

This was her uncle’s second transplant as he had previously undergone the longevity of a successful kidney transplant from a deceased kidney donor twenty-eight years before.

Looking back now, Bronagh is very grateful to her donor, who is always in the back of her mind, she says.

“I am so grateful for all the milestones that I have been able to enjoy thanks to my transplant.

"I had feared that I would not be alive for Orla’s Holy Communion and just hoped I could make it to have a photo taken with her and her younger sister Roisin."

She adds: "Thanks to the transplant not only did I make it to her holy communion, I have also attended her confirmation and watched her start secondary school and she is now a happy 13-year-old.

"My daughter Roisin was just two-years-old when I had my heart transplant and I have also been fortunate to see her receive the two sacraments and she is now nine years old in 4th class at school.

She continues: “Being here today with my husband John and for us to be able to appreciate our children grow up together is a gift of opportunity that has been given to us by my donor’s family. Without their decision my children wouldn’t have a mother.

“ I am forever grateful to them for this selfless gift.”

Organ Donor Awareness Week which is organised by the Irish Kidney Association will take place from 30th March until 6th April.