His name was Ben.

This day five years ago a small boy from our village was laid to rest having lost a short battle with unexpected illness. He’d been flown to England in the hope his life would be saved. Unfortunately it was not to be. Five years ago, on October 16th, his amazing mum and dad kissed him goodbye and in their saddest of days consented to his organs being used to save five others. His name was Ben. He was six years old.

As his parents grieved for their small boy, and his sister for her brother, others recognised theirOrgan donation. bravery. Pa Curran wrote a song, ‘unintentional hero’ for all those who donated organs and made a video to honour them. Ben and his dad and sister featured on that video. The Irish Heart foundation awarded Ben, a child of courage award, praising his determination and strength as he returned to good health following a stroke at three years of age and honouring the happy smiling child he was. His local GAA club remember him as do his classmates every year.

In an incredibly cruel twist of fate, Ben’s amazing mum, Elma, a lady to her core, sadly passed away a year ago.

Today as so many of us remember Ben, we do so hoping he is with his mum and knowing that both Elma and Ben are alive in the hearts and souls of all who loved them, most especially Ben’s dad, his sisters, his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousin’s.

Those of us who watch from the sidelines cannot imagine their grief, but we can salute their courage and wish them continued strength.

Codlamh Sámh Ben and Elma.

This is Pa Curran’s song, Unintentional Hero. A wonderful tribute to organ donors everywhere.


14 thoughts on “His name was Ben.

  1. I greatly admire anyone who has to live with the loss of their young child, to have improved the lives of others through organ donation is a great legacy for Ben xx

  2. A longtime supporter of organ donation, I readily agreed on one of the darkest days of my life. My daughter died a few weeks before she would have turned two years of age. However, her father vetoed it and the hospital gave him his way.

    1. To lose your little one so young is a huge burden for you to carry. I’m so sorry and sorry you didn’t get your wish to donate her organs. It makes having the conversation so important. It must have made an impossible situation even harder.
      After your comment today I’ll raise this with some parenting friends of mine to prompt them to have that chat.
      Thank you for commenting.

  3. a loss that will never be forgotten. heroes are found in the most unlikely of circumstances. i am hoping they are together once more and know how much they are loved.

  4. This rips the heart out. Life can be so beautiful and so unfair. A beautiful child leaves us to soon while a grumpy old man lives to be a 100.

    Maybe it’s true: Heaven needed the boy and not the grumpy old man.

    For as hard as it was to read thank you for sharing. It gives all of us a moment to be thankful to the loved ones we have.

  5. what an amazing little boy and what an amazing family to give the gift of life at such a time. I am so sure that Ben and his Mom Elma are together in heaven and looking down on his Dad and his sister and smiling at them both as well as keeping watch. Thank you Tric for sharing this wonderful story. ❤ Kat

  6. Hopefully your post inspires more people to donate organs. And the Pa Curran song and video is nothing short of amazing, and a wonderful tribute to all the unintentional heroes … thank you for a great post …

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