Seven-year-old Dáithí Mac Gabhann from West Belfast has reached the significant milestone of 2,000 days on the heart transplant waiting list. Dáithí, who has hypoplastic left heart syndrome, has been waiting for a transplant since 2018. His family has stated that a transplant is his “only hope of survival.” Despite his stable condition, his father Máirtín believes that time is running out for Dáithí. The family is using this milestone to raise awareness about organ donation and highlight the impact it can have on saving lives.
Dáithí’s plight has inspired a campaign called Donate4Dáithí, which aims to raise awareness about organ donation and encourage people to join the cause. Over 10% of the Northern Ireland population has responded to the call, joining the NHS Organ Donor Register. In June, Dáithí’s Law, a landmark legislation for organ donation, came into effect, making all adults potential organ donors unless they choose to opt out. Dáithí’s journey has also earned him the title of Freeman of Belfast, symbolizing his bravery and the campaign’s impact on the city’s people.
While celebrating these victories, Dáithí’s father emphasized that the battle is far from over as the young boy awaits a new heart. He urged people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and share their decision with loved ones. Máirtín emphasized the importance of continuous action and discussions about organ donation to save more lives. As Dáithí’s Law is in place, society can do more to normalize organ donation and give hope to children like Dáithí who are waiting for a life-saving transplant.