Daryl Doherty listened to his brother Darcy’s donated heart when he met Carrie in Feb 2020. (BC Transplant photo)

VIDEO: B.C. transplant recipient meets family of late donor after 17 years

Darcy Doherty’s mom, Marie and, brother Daryl, met heart transplant recipient Carrie Jung in Feb

Earlier this year one of B.C.’s first ever face-to-face meetings between a heart transplant recipient and the family of their organ donor took place.

Vancouver’s Carrie Jung met Marie and Daryl Doherty at Marie’s home in Pitt Meadows on Feb. 20. The pair are the mother and brother of Darcy Doherty, who donated his heart when he died at the age of 37.

Jung and the Doherty’s had been in touch with each other since Darcy’s heart allowed Carrie to continue living after a heart failure saw her sit on the transplant list for seven years.

“BC transplant has always encouraged recipients to write a letter after the transplant to express their gratitude,” Jung said. “So 18 years ago, after my heart transplant, I wanted to write a letter to my donor family, and I had hoped that they would respond and they did.

“As a result, for the past 17-and-a-half years, we continued to correspond anonymously through BC Transplant.”

Due to a privacy policy in place, the two parties were never allowed to share names, addresses, or telephone numbers, etc., so it was not until February that they were finally able to meet in person.

READ MORE: Transplant recipients give thanks at Ridge Meadows Hospital with popcorn

In the meantime, it had been very important to Carrie to maintain contact.

“Not only was it important because of the gratitude that I felt; it was also because I felt a sense of responsibility,” Carrie said.

“I knew that I had received someone’s heart, and I had vowed to myself that I would take care of it to the best of my ability.

“I thought I owed it to the donor family to let them know how well I’ve been doing with this new heart, and to let them know all the activities that I’ve been able to do – the way that I live my life, the way that I’ve been able to continue to work, and continue to travel – all of the things that I would not have been able to do had it not been for his heart.”

Carrie said she had never tried to find out who the Doherty’s were, as she thought it would never be possible. It was only recently that she found out Marie had been fighting for 17 years for the chance to meet her face-to-face.

In December, Carrie said she received a phone call from a BC Transplant social worker offering her the opportunity to meet her donor’s family.

Due to a recently updated recipient – donor family contact policy, transplant recipients are now able to communicate directly withe the family of their organ donors.

She jumped at the chance to meet the Doherty’s, but trepidation set in as the meet-up date approached.

“The social worker came to pick me up to see Marie and Daryl, and when I got into his car, the first thing I said to him was, ‘I feel nervous,’ so that was when it really hit me.”

READ MORE: Maple Ridge rock garden symbolizes transplant patient’s gratitude

As soon as she came saw the Doherty’s however, the nerves disappeared.

“It felt like meeting people that I’d known for a very long time, but had not seen for a very long time,” she said. “It felt like a reunion, that we were finally able to be together again.”

Marie Doherty was equally ecstatic to meet Carrie.

“We had waited so long to finally meet her, and she’s such a lovely person,” she said.

“We were so happy, and she’s happy-go-lucky like my son was.”

Despite being in touch anonymously for so long, Marie always held out hope she would eventually meet her son’s donor recipient in person.

“Though we lost Darcy, we were happy that at least he gets to live on in her.”



ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

HealthPitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Daryl Doherty, Carrie Yung and Marie Doherty look through correspondence they shared over the 17 years they have been in touch. (BC Transplant photo)

Just Posted

Touchstones Museum has opened up Nelson’s Cold War bunker to the public. The unique exhibit includes artifacts from the 1950s and 60s. Photo: Tyler Harper
Take cover! Cold War bunker opens to public in Nelson

The shelter was built in 1964 in case of nuclear fallout

The rotary club is adapting to the COVID-19 crisis. Photo: Rossland Rotary Club
Revenue drops 50% at Rossland Rotary Club during COVID-19 crisis

The club is adapting by holding modified events, online bingo

Kootenay West Candidates (L to R) Glen Byle (Conservative), Katrine Conroy (NDP), Andrew Duncan (Green), Corbin Kelley (Liberal), Fletcher Quince (Independent, Ed Varney (Independent).
Q&A with Kootenay West candidates: Child care

Sixth in a series of Q&As with the candidates, look for a new set each morning.

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

The Black Jack Ski Club is holding its annual membership drive with an early incentive to get your membership before Nov. 1. Photo: submitted.
Black Jack Ski Club invites new members

An early-bird discount means it’s a good time to get your membership to the Black Jack Ski Club

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Volunteer registered nurse Stephanie Hamilton recieves a swab from a driver as she works at a Covid-19 testing site in the parking lot at Everett Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
13 more COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

There are 624 cases in the region since the start of the pandemic

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

Most Read