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More than 5,000 requests for organ donor cards since Orla Tinsley documentary

On a typical day, the Irish Kidney Association would receive 20 to 50 requests for organ donor cards.

Orla Tinsley
Orla Tinsley

THERE HAVE BEEN more than 5,000 requests for organ donor cards since a documentary about cystic fibrosis and organ donation aired on RTÉ One on Monday.

Orla Tinsley: Warrior and a subsequent discussion on Claire Byrne Live with people affected by organ donation have resulted in a huge surge in interest. 

People requested the cards online and via text, email and phone, the Irish Kidney Association (IKA) has confirmed. Many individual requests were for multiple cards.

On a typical day, the IKA would receive 20 to 50 requests for organ donor cards.

Responding to the news on Twitter, Tinsley thanked people for the huge response.

“In the deepest tragedy 1 person can give hope to and save up to 8 people. I’m alive because of my beautiful donor and her family. Let loves ones know your wishes, this is vital,” she wrote. 

Speaking about the huge increase in interest, Mark Murphy, Chief Executive of the IKA, said: “Such a level of public response has not been seen for almost a decade. Orla’s courage has moved the public in such a powerful and visceral way to support organ donation.

This gives hope to the 600 or more people on transplant waiting lists and their families and demonstrates, once again, how powerful individual stories shared by people who have been touched by organ failure and organ donation can capture the public’s empathy.

Murphy encouraged members of the public to let their wishes regarding organ donation be known to their loved ones.

Double lung transplant 

Orla Tinsley: Warrior was filmed over 14 months in New York and charted Tinsley’s struggle while her CF condition worsened as she awaited a life-saving double lung transplant, which finally came through after a number of delays and false alarms.

People can request an organ donor card by texting DONOR to 50050 (free) or via the IKA website.

A digital organ donor card is available from the Google Playstore or iTunes. People’s wishes can also be recorded when applying for a new driver’s licence by including the code 115.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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