Straight Talk­ing

Bray People - - NEWS - MARISA REIDY

LAST WEEK Dublin teenager Tri­ona Pri­estly made na­tional head­lines when her idol, award win­ning singer Ed Sheeran, granted her dy­ing wish by singing to her be­fore she passed away, aged just 15.

The beau­ti­ful blonde teen had been bat­tling Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis (CF) and her amaz­ing friends be­gan an on­line cam­paign to make her fi­nal dream come true.

The story was so heart­break­ing, yet in­spir­ing. Un­be­liev­able that some­one so young could still die from this ter­ri­ble dis­ease, but up­lift­ing that she at least got her fi­nal wish.

As reg­u­lar read­ers of this col­umn will know, CF is very close to my heart. My lit­tle girl is a suf­ferer, so as you can imag­ine, hear­ing the news that a 15 year old girl had passed away was a very sober­ing and ter­ri­fy­ing re­al­ity check for me.

By na­ture, I'm an ex­tremely pos­i­tive per­son and have so much faith in the on­go­ing re­search and ad­vance­ments in medicine that I have no doubt will im­pact sig­nif­i­cantly on my daugh­ter's qual­ity of life as she gets older. I sim­ply have to think that way.

But on the other hand, the re­al­ity is that this aw­ful dis­ease is killing people all the time - even chil­dren - mak­ing calls for ded­i­cated CF units a cross the coun­try more im­por­tant than ever.

Pa­tient care is para­mount in man­ag­ing the dis­ease and al­though cam­paign­ers have been stress­ing the need for proper, ded­i­cat- ed fa­cil­i­ties for years we're still fight­ing a los­ing bat­tle and people are still dy­ing way too young.

What Tri­ona's death also high­lighted though is the im­por­tance of or­gan do­na­tion. The young teen had been hop­ing to un­dergo a trans­plant, but un­for­tu­nately it wasn't to be.

Last week was or­gan do­na­tion week, where people were asked to con­sider sign­ing up to be a donor.

It's all very well talk­ing about and sup­port­ing an aware­ness cam­paign, but when it comes to or­gan do­na­tion we have to take ac­tion be­fore it's too late. Tri­ona's pass­ing proved that.

If I had one wish right now it would be that ev­ery­one read­ing this would dis­cuss or­gan do­na­tion with their fam­ily and make their wishes known to­day. Granted, it's not for ev­ery­one but if or­gan do­na­tion is some­thing you sup­port then make it clear now.

Of course no­body wants to think of their own death, but the re­al­ity is that people are dy­ing be­cause of so many oth­ers' in­ac­tion - so maybe now it's time we all make a dif­fer­ence while we still have a choice.

Tri­ona Pri­estly: her death high­lighted is the im­por­tance of or­gan do­na­tion.

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