Twenty-one-year-old Donegal student Aisling O’Connor will be giving the gift of life to save others following her tragic death, her father has said.
Aisling, a third year student of the University of Limerick, passed away as a result of injuries from a kayaking accident on Saturday. The popular science student suffered critical injuries during a club trip in Co. Kerry. She passed away on Monday.
Aisling’s father David O’Connor has said he and the family’s lives have been shattered by their sudden loss, but they are gaining comfort from the knowledge that Aisling’s organs will be donated to save the lives of others.
“Incredibly, within 10 minutes of her being pronounced dead yesterday, the liver transplant team identified Aisling as a perfect match for a patient of theirs,” David told Cork radio station 98fm.
“Even in death, Aisling continues to care for, enrich and help others in need. My hope is that all of her organs are viable and will give the gift of life to those who need it. Aisling would not have had it any other way.”
Aisling, who grew up in Cork and later moved to Ballyshannon, is the second eldest of five children. She is survived by her mother Sorcha Begley, Ballyshannon and father David O’Connor, Cork, her older brother Ciaran and younger siblings Matthew, Clodagh and Maeve.
In a heartfelt letter, David said: “There would not be enough time or words for me to convey to you the essence and character of this simply wonderful and special person.
“She enriched the lives of everyone she encountered… loving, bubbly, bright, vivacious, caring…I could go on and on…..always taking care and looking out for others. She was a role model in every sense of the word and set the example for many especially for her brothers Ciaran and Matthew and her sisters Clodagh and Maeve.”
David said he aims to highlight the importance of organ donation, “even in the face of tragic loss and heartbreaking senseless death of someone so young.”
He appealed to others to be aware of the gift of life that can occur with organ donation and asked listeners to keep Aisling in their thoughts: “Please think of Aisling and wish her well on her onward journey where I know she is lighting up the lives of everyone she encounters.”Tags: