Little Nevaeh gave new life to five others

By Brendan Grehan

THE ORGANS of a nine-year-old girl have saved the lives of five people.

Nevaeh Spollen’s parents Emmet and Crystal were at the opening of the headquarters of the HSE Organ Donation and Transplant Office (ODTI) in Dublin recently with the Minister for Health, Simon Harris.

Neveah Spollen 11052017

Nevaeh’s organ’s saved the lives of four schoolboys aged nine to 12 and a 34-year-old woman. Nevaeh, from Lucan, died on November 8, 2014 after suffering a brain haemorrhage.

Crystal told The Echo that the fact that Nevaeh saved five other lives is of some comfort to them.

She said: “At least we know there are five other families who didn’t have to say goodbye to a loved one. We think it’s very important to talk about organ donation and we do what we can to raise awareness of the issue.”

Nevaeh began to suffer from headaches a couple of months before her death.

Crystal said: “We went to the doctor and it was put down to migraines or for a need to wear glasses.Her last headache was when we were watching a movie together on TV on Halloween night. She fell asleep, and I carried her up to bed. Next morning, she was full of life.”

She died a few days later. Before she passed away Nevaeh had spotted her mother’s organ donation card and asked what it was for.

Crystal told her the cards were distributed to people who were willing to donate organs. Nevaeh thought the idea of the cards was brilliant.

A memorial has been erected by family friends at the tree where Nevaeh collapsed. A new seat has been placed on a swing beside the tree with Nevaeh’s name on it and the adjoining swing has “friend” written on it.

The new ODTI office is in St George’s Church on Temple Street in Dublin.

The ODTI now has dedicated premises from which to coordinate its lifesaving services. It was established to provide governance, integration and leadership for organ donation and transplantation in this country.

There are three transplant centres in Ireland – the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, St. Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) and Beaumont Hospital.

Overall, 280 organ transplants were carried out during 2016, of which 58 were liver, 35 were lung and 172 were kidney.

Minister Harris told The Echo: “I’m proud to say that the 2016 organ transplant figures, which saw 280 transplants carried out, is the second highest annual performance achieved to date.

"The Living Kidney Donor Programme continues to go from strength to strength, and the excellent performance of the National Renal Transplant Service in Beaumont Hospital saw a remarkable increase in living donor transplants from 33 in 2015 to a record 50 last year”.

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