As Organ Donation Week commences, Cliftonville Football Club look forward to welcoming Dáithí Mac Gabhann to Friday’s Danske Bank Premiership encounter with Institute at Solitude.
Dáithí is a 21-month-old from Ballymurphy who was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and, at just four days old, required open heart surgery – a procedure with which he has sadly become all too familiar during his short life.
His second such operation came less than a week later and, after suffering heart failure just before Christmas, was discovered to have a defect so significant that doctors need not even try and fix it – which is when the search for a new heart began.
“For Dáithí, all other medical options have now been exhausted and a donated organ is his only hope,” explains his father, Máirtín.
“Dáithí’s potential donated heart needs to be from a baby or a child between one and five. We know that this is a very taboo subject and something that isn’t easy to talk about. For parents, it may seem crazy to put their children on the NHS Organ Donor Register, but there simply aren’t enough organs around for children on the waiting list like Dáithí. We want to create awareness of why everyone, including children, should become donors.
“Dáithí may look fine at the minute but he will deteriorate. He needs a heart, he is a very sick boy and this is his last chance.”
Cliftonville FC are humbled to lend our support to this vital programme and, as well as advising our supporters that they can register to become organ donors by clicking here, are likewise only too pleased to provide details of a series of events that have been arranged throughout Organ Donation Week.
Dáithí and his family will be our Official Matchday Partners on Friday night, with the Club having donated Match Sponsorship to their very worthy cause, and the Club would encourage the Red Army to show their support by spreading awareness of the timetable above and highlighting the family’s appeal via their dedicated Facebook and Twitter platforms.