Drumraney native attends IKA annual service of remembrance and thanksgiving

Drumraney native, Mary McGarry, a single lung transplant recipient, is pictured with Rosie Buckley, a member of a donor family from Clara, at the recently recorded Irish Kidney Association’s 37th annual Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

Drumraney native, Mary McGarry, a single lung transplant recipient, is pictured with Rosie Buckley, a member of a donor family from Clara, at the recently recorded Irish Kidney Association’s 37th annual Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

Drumraney native and single lung transplant recipent, Mary McGarry, was in attendance at the recent recording of the Irish Kidney Association’s 37th annual service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving which will be broadcast on RTE One and RTE Radio One Extra this Sunday, October 30, at 11am.

The Irish Kidney Association is requesting the public to tune into RTÉ and actively participate in this years’ virtual service, including the symbolic Service of Light ceremony. It is hoped that in households the length and breadth of the country, and beyond, a candle will be lit in memory of deceased donors who gave the gift of life.

For many organ donor families this unique annual service has become an anniversary to remember their loved ones, and for transplant recipients, the opportunity to honour and give thanks for the wonderful ‘gift of life’ they have received. Prior to the global pandemic, the annual event attracted a physical congregation of close to 2,000 people. For the past three years the service has been pre-recorded with a small gathering of participants due to safety issues around Covid-19, particularly for transplant recipients and other vulnerable people.

When the first pre-recorded ‘virtual’ service was held in 2020, a total of 64,000 households nationwide tuned in to watch its first viewing on RTÉ and it was streamed in 24 other countries. Last year after the Service broadcast there was an uplift in donor card requests, with 43% increase in average weekly requests.

Twelve families of deceased organ donors participated in the filming of this year’s ‘virtual’ service, to remember their loved ones who became organ donors following their untimely deaths. Nine grateful transplant recipients who received different deceased donors organs (including heart, lung, liver, kidney, and pancreas ). They included a five-year-old twin boy who received a kidney transplant this year, a lung transplant grandmother in her late 60s, a 45-year-old mother who has received the gift of life three times in her lifetime, and another mother who is enjoying the successful longevity of a kidney transplant she received 32 years ago.

The service, an occasion for both sadness and joy, includes clergy, humanists, as well as organ transplant recipients, organ donor families, and the medical profession involved in organ donation and transplantation. Music and song are interspersed between poignant symbolic processions and meaningful scripture, reflections and expressions of gratitude, selflessness, and faith in humanity.

Since its inception 37 years ago, the service has become a hugely important event in the calendar of members of the organ donation and transplant community. The confidential database for organ donor families is held by Organ Donation Transplant Ireland (ODTI ).

The Book of Remembrance, a ‘Roll of Honour’, has been an integral part of the service since its inception with the names of organ and tissue donors carefully inscribed by calligrapher Annette Daly from Glenageary, Co Dublin for the past 37 years.

Following the Service broadcast on RTÉ One and RTÉ Radio One Extra (LW252 ) at 11am on Sunday, October 30, it will be available to watch on the Irish Kidney Association’s website www.ika.ie Individuals who wish to support organ donation are encouraged to Share their Wishes with their family and keep the reminders of their decision available by carrying the organ donor card, permitting Code 115 to be included on their driver’s licence or having the ‘digital organ donor card’ App on their smartphone. Organ Donor Cards can be requested by visiting the IKA website www.ika.ie/get-a-donor-card or to your phone, phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050.

 

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