Aunt’s life-saving transplant inspires Derry teen to make film

Eoin Godfrey (left) and a still from his film.
Eoin Godfrey (left) and a still from his film.

A Derry teenager has created a new film urging young people to sign the Organ Donation Register following his aunt’s life-saving kidney transplant.

Student Eoin Godfrey, 19, said he now wants to encourage others to ‘give the gift of life’.

Eoin said he was moved to take action after his aunt’s life was saved when her brother donated his kidney. She had polycystic kidney disease, which makes cysts develop in the kidneys and cause them to fail.

He has created a film with ‘Fixers,’ a charity which helps give young people a voice.

Eoin said: ‘At the time of her transplant I did some research into the numbers of people signing up to be donors and discovered that while statistically a lot of people support the idea of organ donation in Northern Ireland, in reality not many people have signed up to do it.”

Describing the ideas behind his ‘Fixers’ film, he said:

“I made a short film in which the lead character realises he has died and has a conversation with ‘Death’ - which finishes up with them discussing how, if he had been on the organ donor register he could have saved the person in the hospital bed beside him.”

Eoin wants to make young people aware that while children need to be over 14 to sign the Organ Donation Register in Northern Ireland, their parents or guardians can register them before this age if it is something they want to do.

He said: “Young people might not realise that they can either sign up or tell their parents that they want to donate – I hope my film makes them aware of this and encourages them to give someone else the gift of life.”

Eoin plans to have his film screened in schools and health centres across the north west over the coming months.

The short film was launched at North West Regional College, where Eoin studies media production.

One student who attended the screening, Connor McCallion, says: “I think this is a very effective film and it will definitely get young people thinking about signing up to be organ donors.”

Another, Molly McHale, added: ‘Coming from Donegal it has made me think about what the rules are for organ donation on that side of the border.”

‘Fixers’ works with young people aged 16-25 across the UK by providing them with resources to help them campaign on issues they feel strongly about. For more information or to make a donation to fund more Fixer projects, visit www.fixers.org.uk.

You can watch Eoin’s film at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tc4Ea3_vjcU.