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Kidney recipient calls on public to carry organ donor cards

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CARRY THE CARD: Members of the Kerry Branch of the Irish Kidney Association from left: Tim Fleming, Connie Brosnan (Chairman), Theresa Looney (Secretary) and Seanie O'Donoghue. Picture: Eamonn Keogh

 

“Have the conversation and carry a donor card”

By Sean Moriarty

Talking to family about being an organ donor is the most important step in ensuring your wish can happen – says local man and kidney transplant recipient Connie Brosnan -  whose life was changed after receiving a kidney eight years ago.

Now he’s calling on the public to carry an organ donor card – as it could be life-changing for someone waiting for a transplant.

Last Sunday, the annual Ring of Kerry Honda 50 Run, an integral event in the annual Ireland BikeFest Killarney festival, raised funds for the Irish Kidney Association Kerry branch.

Connie, who is on the organising committee of the Honda 50 Run amongst many other things, is a keen gardener, a regular golfer, a prominent member of the local basketball club and a committee member of local charity group.

These are all pastimes you would instantly associate with an active retired person.

But for Connie of Ross Road, these are all things that could have been taken from him at a blink of eye.

Eight years ago he got a phone call to say he was next in line for a life-saving kidney transplant.

Fast forward to 2019, and Connie says all of the above activities would not have been possible only that someone, somewhere carried an organ donor card - and he is now calling on the entire community to carry a card to potentially save someone else’s life.

“I would encourage people to have the conversation and in the event of an untimely death of a loved one, that they carry a donor card,” said Connie.

Connie (70) is one of those local people that seems to be involved in everything.

He is a long-time member of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club. He even won gold for the discipline at the Irish Transplant Games in 2013 - just 24 months after his life-saving operation.

He is a long-serving member of St Paul’s Basketball Club and acts as the club’s ambassador when officials from visiting clubs are in town. He spent his life in Killarney National Park as he was born in a cottage in the heart of the park, and spent his working life as a gardener and caretake there, first as an employee of the McShane family and latterly under the Board of Public Works. He still volunteers as a gardener at the golf club.

“I am one of the very lucky ones,” he said. “A transplant is a not cure, but is the best form of treatment. There are 50 patients in Tralee undergoing dialysis each week, and this is only keeping them ticking over, imagine all your blood being filtered through a machine, sometimes taking up to four hours.”

Those interested in getting an organ donor card can contact Theresa Looney, Secretary of the Kerry Branch of the Irish Kidney Association, on 087 205 9205.

 

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Pedestrianisation poll: Our readers have their say

By Sean Moriarty The question of pedestrianisation in the town centre has divided Killarney for years but a survey by the Killarney Advertiser this week shows the town slightly more in favour of it. A total of 37.14 percent of respondents want the pedestrianisation of Plunkett St to remain as it is – closed to […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The question of pedestrianisation in the town centre has divided Killarney for years but a survey by the Killarney Advertiser this week shows the town slightly more in favour of it.

A total of 37.14 percent of respondents want the pedestrianisation of Plunkett St to remain as it is – closed to traffic on a permanent basis while 24.76 want it to go back to its pre-pandemic arrangement where the street was only closed to vehicular traffic between 7pm and 7am each night.

An additional 34.29 percent want to see an increase in pedestrianisation in town centre by extending the Main St arrangement that was in place during the summer. In that period the town’s main thoroughfare was closed to traffic, day and night, during the weekend.

Only 20 percent of the respondents want to abolish pedestrianisation altogether, but that is still a significant number ensuring that this debate will linger on for a long time yet.

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National television exposure for local campaign

By Michelle Crean A local group hosting a life-saving information day tomorrow (Saturday) are to receive huge exposure on national TV after a crew came down to interview them about their campaign. Members of Killarney Cardiac Response Unit (KCRU) – who are planning a ‘Restart a Heart Day’ to raise awareness about life-saving techniques – […]

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By Michelle Crean

A local group hosting a life-saving information day tomorrow (Saturday) are to receive huge exposure on national TV after a crew came down to interview them about their campaign.

Members of Killarney Cardiac Response Unit (KCRU) – who are planning a ‘Restart a Heart Day’ to raise awareness about life-saving techniques – invited journalist Paul Byrne and Virgin Media TV crew to town this week.

It’s hoped their campaign will be broadcast tonight (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday).

The KCRU event takes place tomorrow in ANAM Arts and Cultural Centre between 10.30am and 4pm as part of the European Restart a Heart Day. It’ll include CPR demos, public information, an art display, a video launch w️ith many prizes to be won.

“The crew interviewed Community Responder Helen Duggan who explained the events taking place on Saturday,” Kevin O’Leary from KCRU told the Killarney Advertiser.

“European Restart a Heart Day was founded with the support of the European parliament and takes place on October 16 every year. We’re spreading the message that 20 minutes of your time could make all the difference saving a life.”

In 2021, the focus of the event is on survivors with the hashtag #CPRSavedMyLife.

“With this campaign we want to create awareness that everyone can learn CPR and facilitate BLS courses in schools and public locations.”

He said they hope that Kerry TDs Danny Healy-Rae, Brendan Griffin and Minister for Education Norma Foley will be in attendance throughout the day, and the public are invited to attend.

“Find out how simple actions can save lives. Prizes include a three day First Aid course valued at €300, two First Aid kits, and a voucher for a local business.”

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