Organs of man killed in Australia save 6 lives

ORGANS donated by a young Irishman who died after an altercation in Australia have been used to save the lives of six people his mother has revealed.

Gearóid Walsh died of head injuries following a scuffle outside a fast food restaurant in Sydney on October 29.

The 23-year-old organ donor from Grants Row near Dublin city centre donated his heart, lungs, liver and kidneys which were then utilised in six life-saving operations by Australian surgeons.

In an interview in a Sunday newspaper Gearóid’s mother, nurse Treasa Walsh said: “My son’s death is not final. I think it was his destiny to go to Australia and help save the lives of six strangers.”

She also revealed that the family had received a Christmas card from one of the people whose lives were saved by an operation utilising one of Gearóid’s kidneys and special message from Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd thanking them for the organ donation.

In his message Mr Rudd stated: “The Walsh family made a brave and generous decision to donate Gearóid’s organs so that other people might live.

“My heart – and the heart of all Australians – goes out to the Walsh family at this difficult time.

“I thank them for their great grace and dignity in acting in such a generous and forgiving spirit to donate Gearóid’s organs.”

Ms Walsh also repeated her forgiveness for the man facing trial for the assault that lead to Gearóid’s death.

Tobias Simmons, 29, handed himself into Sydney police following a tearful television message from Mrs Walsh asking the man responsible for hitting her son to give himself up.

Simmons is now on bail waiting trial on manslaughter and grievous bodily harm charges.

Mrs Walsh said: “I’m just a mother and I want Tobias Simmons to know that we don’t blame him for my beautiful son’s death.”

She added: “I just want to meet him and give him a hug and wish him good luck. Two families are going through hell. This is just so unfortunate for everyone.”

Australian police have informed Mrs Walsh that Simmons broke down during interviews.

The incident which led to Gearóid’s fatal injury occurred after Simmons complained that he was taking too long paying for his food.

Gearóid’s fatal injury occurred in the Coogee suburb of eastern Sydney. The area is a popular destination for Irish and British tourists and backpackers.

If you are interested in getting a organ donor card contact: Irish Kidney Association, tel: 01 668 9788, website: www.ika.ie, email:info@ika.ie.

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