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

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)

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

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

Just Posted

Smithers Local Health Area reported just one new case of COVID-19 from Feb. 14-20. (BC CDC graphic)
Local weekly COVID infections drop to one

The Smithers Local Health Area (Houston to Witset) reported a single case between Feb. 14 and20

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Smithers Weekly Police Blotter: Feb 12 – 19

Smithers RCMP open 83 new files including 15 property crime cases

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

(Black Press file photo)
Charges laid against two suspects in pre-Christmas home invasion

An 88-year-old woman was hospitalized after being bear-sprayed in the face Dec. 18, 2020

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

An official investigation will be launched after VPD officers were recorded posing near a dead body at Third Beach on Wednesday morning, Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
VIDEO: Vancouver officers under review for allegedly laughing, taking pictures next to dead body

Two officers were caught on video by a local beachgoer Wednesday morning in Stanley Park

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
‘Stay local’: Dr. Henry shoots down spring break travel for British Columbians

B.C. is reportedly working with other provincial governments to determine March break policies

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“Our biggest challenge has been the amount of vaccine,” said FNHA acting chief medical officer Dr. Shannon McDonald. (First Nations Health Authority Facebook photo)
All First Nations on reserve to be vaccinated by end of March: First Nations Health Authority

Vaccinations continuing for B.C. First Nations amid shortages

(Delta Police Department photo)
B.C. youth calls 911 after accruing $7K in online gaming charges

‘Police spoke with the student about appropriate times to call 911’

Site C will go ahead, one year later and $5.3 billion more, the NDP announced Feb 26. (BC Hydro image)
B.C. NDP announces Site C will go ahead with new $16B budget

Reviews recommend more oversight, beefed up foundation stability work

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in B.C. woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

A kid in elementary school wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Metro Creative)
Union asks why an elementary school mask rule wouldn’t work in B.C. if it does elsewhere

B.C. education minister announced expansion of mask-wearing rules in middle, high school but not elementary students

Most Read