Strange Boat - Organ Donation Awareness


Donor families

On the shoulders of heroes….

All of us who participate and, importantly, contribute to this website do so standing on the shoulders of heroes – the Donors. They saw their lives as an extension of that of their fellow humans, and made to them the noblest of gestures – the gift of life.

Receiving a donated organ is a source of joy and new life for the recipient, but this emotion is inescapably tempered with sadness as it so often involves the death of a fellow human being. Many bereaved families, however, who have suffered profound loss in these circumstances, have also discovered healing consolation.

Donating an organ, whether through the wish of the person who has died, as a bereaved relative or as a living donor related to the recipient, is a unique example of the human capacity to love. Through organ donation, strangers suffering their separate sorrows of death and illness, share their sufferings and make to each other the gift of love and life.

This website recognises the generosity of the donors and their loved ones, not as something static but as an opportunity to continue in their name the good they initiated and use it as a source of inspiration in our own lives to further the cause of humanity. Read the stories of some donor families: take some consolation or inspiration from these stories.

 Regularly the media carries many tragic, yet uplifting stories of how families cope with life following the death of a loved one, a family member who in death continues to give love and life to others.  Their stories give great comfort and inspiration, and as we all are the architects of this website, we welcome and invite you to contribute writings in email on your own personal story, your experience of donation, of coping, of life after donation. Please email us your contribution.


Patsy's story

Ten years ago my daughter, Paula, aged 24 years was killed in a motor vehicle accident in Johannesburg South Africa and became an organ donor. On a recent visit to South Africa it gave me great peace and comfort to see that two memorial gardens for donors of organs and tissue had been erected at a cemetery called St Martin, in Ceder Lakes a suburb of Johannesburg.

Read more: Patsy's story


Marian's story

As I awakened at 4.20am on a Tuesday morning in July, 1999 to the sound of my husband Teddy telling me he had a very bad headache, I could also hear the birds singing outside welcoming another warm sunny morning. 

Read more: Marian's story


Jean's story

My only child, Lynn, was on a student exchange in the south of France. She was almost 17 years old and had just completed 5th year. This was her first year to go on a student exchange and she was keen to improve her French.

Two weeks into her four week stay, Lynn was involved in an accident...

Read more: Jean's story


Tony's story

Kyle Omar Gavigan was born to Adrienne and myself on 8th of April 1983, he is our first born. He passed on to the next life at the end of January 1996. Kyle was involved in a car accident and was taken to the hospital in Navan and later transferred to Beaumont hospital in Dublin on a cold Tuesday night. He was placed on a life support machine...

Read more: Tony's story

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