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2023 Grateful 39: Organ donor

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what I’ll do with my bits and bobs when I die. Not my art or what money might be left over once I’ve gotten through living my best life. But my lungs, my kidneys, my heart, my eyes. Those bits and bobs. I’m an organ donor.


I’ve been home for a few days now, and it seems like not one has gone by without someone, somewhere in Ireland, being murdered. Any shock I might have felt has been replaced by morbid curiosity – Who were they? Where were they murdered?

As murders go, Ireland is at 0.69 per 100 000 of the population. We’re on a downward trend, tucked in between Spain and Poland on the rankings. There were 39 registered in 2021, which is less than one a week, so what’s happened this Easter? Is there something in the chocolate?

Easter, for those of the Christian faith, is a time to think about death and resurrection, and faith and such. I was brought up not to fear death. The familiar refrain ‘there are worse things in life than death’ is embedded in my brain. When my time comes, it’ll come. And then it’s onwards and upwards, unless something drastic happens in the interim.

Have you seen the sitcom, The Good Place? With Ted Danson? It’s not my idea of heaven but hey, each to their own.

Anyway, when the time comes, I’m ready. Or as ready as I’ll ever be. I carry an organ donor card. I have the app on my phone. They can help themselves to anything that’s in good working order. No one will know the difference. Except me. And the recipient.

Remember that football team in Brazil back in 2012/2013 that was inspired to up the numbers on the organ donor list by asking fans to become organ donors?

“I promise your eyes will keep on watching Sport,” says Adriano dos Santos, a fan of the club who is awaiting a cornea transplant, in a video linked to the campaign which is backed by Brazil’s health ministry.

“Your lungs will keep on breathing for Sport,” says Luiz Antonio, a fan awaiting a lung transplant, while heart patient Marleide dos Santos adds: “I promise your heart will keep on beating for Sport.”

They got it. I get it. Do you get it?

Text, white on black, beside a red glass heart, reads: When I'm gone and no longe around, when you've buried my body deep in the ground, I hope you've listened to what I have said, my organs are really no use when I'm dead. Take them all out, share them around, shout from the rooftops a donor we've found. My liver my kidney, my lungs and my heart, just a few things to give someone a start. Organ donor poem

It’s Easter Monday. You’re probably still off work and messing around on your phone. Download the organ donor app. Sign an organ donor card. Become an organ donor. Tell your nearest and dearest that when the time comes, you’re happy to donate your bits and bobs. Someone, somewhere, will be eternally grateful.

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