Organ donor campaign is personal for Vivienne Traynor

Broadcaster Vivienne Traynor has a personal connection with organ donation.

Vivienne’s nephew, Martin Traynor, underwent two kidney transplants. She was the living donor for his first and, five years later, his second transplant was from a deceased donor.

The new ambassador for Organ Donor Awareness Week, RTÉ’s news anchor and courts correspondent Vivienne was Martin’s living donor in 2009.

He had suffered kidney failures and needed dialysis three times a week. Because Martin was at the bottom of a long waiting list, a donor was sought among his family.

After his life-changing operation took place in Britain, Martin, now 35, went on to become a father for the first time. But in 2013, signs of his condition, IgA nephropathy, returned and began to affect the transplanted kidney.

By mid-2014, he was back on dialysis, but within six weeks of being placed on a waiting list, a deceased donor organ became available. In November 2014, Vivienne, 44, a mother-of-four, who completed a law degree in the same year, witnessed the process of organ donation and transplantation from a deceased donor for Martin.

The circle of life for the Traynors continued after Martin’s second transplant at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin. He and his partner, Mary, became parents for a second time with Daisy, now aged 10 months, arriving as a sister for Ted, aged 3.

Vivienne said she was elated when a second kidney became available for Martin but she still spends a lot of time thinking about the family of the deceased donor.

There are about 700 people in Ireland awaiting life- saving heart, lung, liver, kidney, or pancreas transplant. More than 3,000 are enjoying extended life thanks to organ donation.

The Irish Kidney Association ( promotes and distributes the organ card for Organ Donation Transplant Ireland.


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