‘Let your loved ones know your wishes’

donor card for Sheena. 2202Jm47
donor card for Sheena. 2202Jm47

Ryan O’Connor and his remarkable story of bravery has won the hearts of the people in his home town of Dungiven, and further afield.

While he was battling to stay alive in hospital in Newcastle, the people of Dungiven turned out in their droves to support charity events to raise money for him.

Walks in the worst of the winter weather, alongside a number of other events, showed just how much people cared.

Back home, the outpouring of support is present wherever he goes.

Even if it’s just out to get some fresh air, everyone Ryan or his family meets wants to know how he is doing.

When asked how he feels about such support, and that he is a source of inspiration, calmly Ryan says: “Naturally you’re glad people are thinking about you and wishing you well. I think it was meant to test me!”

If anything comes out of the past few months, as gruelling as they have been, Ryan hopes his story will encourage people to become organ donors, and mum Donna agrees.

“When I was thinking about Ryan’s donor, I thought about his parents and how brave they were to make that decision. I just can’t imagine how that must feel,” she says, “but I’ve registered and the point I would stress is, when you do register, let your loved ones know.

“I think that is really important. They need to know your wishes.”