Cork kayaker who died on Kerry trip with UL club to donate organs

Cork kayaker who died on Kerry trip with UL club to donate organs
Aisling O'Connor, Skibbereen native who was living in Donegal and studying in the University of Limerick. Aisling died tragically following a kayak incident on the river Caragh in Kerry on Saturday. The family donated Aisling's vital organs to help others.Pic: Facebook.

Skibbereen native Aisling O’Connor, who died yesterday at Tralee Hospital following a kayak incident on the river Caragh on Saturday, has donated her organs to help others.

Aisling was on a college trip with the University of Limerick kayak club when she and another student got into trouble on the river.

Aisling’s father, David O’Connor, reached out this morning emphasizing the gentle, kind, vivacious character his daughter was and highlighting the importance of organ donation.

“She enriched the lives of everyone she encountered... loving, bubbly, bright, vivacious, caring.” Contacting Cork's 96fm Opinion Line with PJ Coogan Mr O’Connor said: “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.” In an email, Mr O’Connor said “in the face of tragic loss and heartbreaking senseless death of someone so young” we all possess the gift of life through organ donation.

Writing to the Opinion Line, Mr O’Connor said Aisling’s liver was matched to a patient within ten minutes of her passing away.

“My beautiful baby organs are being harvested to help 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.

“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.”

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