ON the eve of what would have been the 18th birthday of Harvey Desmond Burns, a special fundraiser was held in his honour.
Harvey was just 10 months old when he died from injuries sustained in a two-car collision outside Lissarda on the main Cork to Killarney road.
The decision of his mother Deborah and her husband Eddie Burns from Meadowland in Macroom to donate their son’s organs gave them the comfort of knowing that children elsewhere would be able to lead better lives.
Deborah and Eddie decided to mark the occasion in a positive way with a gala dinner at the Castle Hotel on Saturday night.
The build-up to the event and the passing of the midnight hour into September 17th – the day he would have achieved his majority – was symbolic and emotive.
As a fundraiser, it netted €30,045, which will be donated to the Irish Kidney Association in connection with the HSE’s Organ Donation Transplant Ireland, as well as the Strange Boat Donor Foundation, which is the organisation behind the Circle of Life National Organ Donor Commemorative Garden.
Located at Quincentennial Park in Salthill, Galway, the garden promotes the importance of organ donation and is dedicated to all organ donors and their families.
The event also served to highlight the current Organ Donor campaign, Don’t Leave Your Loved Ones in Doubt, which is a reminder to people to be explicit if they wish to donate their organs.
More than 30 community organisations and businesses provided sponsorship for last Saturday night’s event and there were 160 people in attendance.
Harvey’s family told The Southern Star they were overwhelmed by the generosity of people on the night.