Tony Gavigan received a transplant in 1998. He resides in Navan, Co. Meath and says that, “for me participating in the Games is all about honouring my kidney donor and the memory of my beloved son Kyle whose organs were donated after his untimely death when he was just 12 years old”.
The retired Garda who previously worked at Kells Garda Station has two other children, Kasha and Elden, who are now living and working abroad.
Tony will be competing at this year’s World Transplant Games in the 60-69 years category in the following events:
- Golf Singles
- Gold Team
- Petanque Singles
Tony has previously participated in the World Transplant Games in Thailand 2007, and Spain 2017. He has also taken part in the European Transplant and Dialysis Sports Championships in Dublin 2010.
Tony describes his diagnosis of kidney failure, which came within a year of his oldest son Kyle’s tragic death in January 1996, as a ‘complete shock’.
“I had been feeling very unwell and was very lethargic but was attributing it to my immense grief on the recent death of my son Kyle. I was completely unaware that my kidney function had dangerously declined and to get this diagnosis that I would need a kidney transplant so soon after donating Kyle’s organs was unimaginable. I commenced dialysis almost immediately after my diagnosis and thankfully only had to wait a year for a family to make the grave decision, which my family had made a year before, to donate a loved one’s organs. I underwent my kidney transplant in 1998 and I have enjoyed good health for the past 20 years. My health vastly improved thanks to their gift to me. Kyle’s legacy is that his two kidneys and corneas have saved or improved the quality of life for four other people.” “I’m excited about being part of Transplant Team Ireland again at the World Games and I look forward to taking part in my events and competing amongst hundreds of other transplant recipients from around the world who are celebrating being given a second chance of life thanks to their donors.”