Derry postmaster remembered at Organ Donation Service

Jackie with his wife Briege and their daughters Bernadette and Shauna.
Jackie with his wife Briege and their daughters Bernadette and Shauna.

Popular Derry sub-postmaster, Jackie Gallagher, who died last May is to be remembered at an Organ Donation Service next Sunday.

His wife Briege spoke to the ‘Journal’ about her husband’s wish to be an organ donor.

“Jackie loved helping people through his life so it was always something he wanted to do,” she said.

“When they approached us we didn’t hesitate to say yes.

“Thankfully, he always kept in good health so they were able to take his liver and his kidney for transplantation.”

The service is hosted in Belfast every three years by the NHS Blood and Transplant Department.

And members of both the organ recipients and the families of donors will be attendance.

Briege said her family feel honoured to have been invited to this weekend’s event.

“It’s no surprise that Jackie is still making us proud even after his death,” she smiled.

“We’re delighted that he’s going to be a part of the service because there are so many people who have selflessly donated across Northern Ireland.

“We’re very lucky to be able to attend and pay our respects to all of them as well,” she added.

While it will be an emotional day, Briege said the family members are looking forward to it.

“It has been a tough experience for us all since Jackie died on May 1 last year.”

“It’s such a change not having Jackie around but, like the rest of the family, I am just so proud of him.

“Sunday will be a great opportunity for us to see how organ donation can have such a positive effect.”

Briege said after the donation, the Gallagher family received a letter of thanks from the recipient of Jackie’s liver.

“The gentleman sent us a lovely card with a letter inside.

“He expressed his sincere gratitude and mentioned that because of Jackie’s donation he was able to see his granddaughter go to school for the first time,” she noted.

“It was quite emotional to see the effect the donation has had, especially when it came in writing from the recipient.”

After the success of her husband’s donation, Briege has encouraged others to sign up.

“The success of the donations inspired us as a family and, hopefully, it might convince others to sign the registry as well.

“It’s comforting to know that, even in our loss, someone else’s suffering has been reduced,” she concluded.