The father of a six-year-old Lurgan boy who gave the ultimate gift of life through organ donation has told of his pride after he was posthumously honoured.
Little Orán Creaney died in October last year after battling a complex congenital heart defect.
As it became clear that Orán was going to die, his parents Barry and Aisling Creaney had no hesitation in donating his organs.
Barry said it was poignant that they accepted the Order of St John Award for Organ Donation, run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant, on the first anniversary of Orán’s funeral.
When Orán was born in June 2008 with a single ventricle heart, the complexity of the condition meant that his heart could not be fixed but there were three stages of surgery that could help prolong his life into early adulthood, when a heart transplant would be needed.
Orán spent his first 100 days in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. At three weeks old, Orán had his first heart surgery. In the coming weeks Orán’s condition had deteriorated and it was decided that an investigative MRC scan would be required. A week later Orán had his first open heart surgery which was a great success.
Oráns’ second open heart surgery was carried out when he was just one-year-old. This was a success and he was able to go home after a few weeks.
Over the next five years Orán made the most of life. His heart condition coupled with a feeding peg meant that he had little energy and was tube fed three times a day. This never got him down and he was proud of his “Special Heart”. He loved life and making people happy. Barry said that he was honoured to receive the award on Orán’s behalf. He saved two adult lives by donating his organs. “He is still living within those people. He was so small yet he was able to help them.”
It was emotionally tough for the family returning to Newcastle where Orán had passed away and receiving the award. However Barry believes it is all worth it if other people sign up to donate their organs and help others.
Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 2323.