Click here for high-resolution media images
Name: Tony Gavigan
From: Navan, Co. Meath
Age category: 60-69
- Golf Singles
- Golf Pairs
- Petanque Doubles
- Lawn Bowls Singles
Tony received his kidney 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“. His son Kyle passed away aged 12 in 1996, and donated his organs. Tony has been actively involved in organ donor awareness since. He has been on The Late Late Show on two occasions and is regularly on local radio and in papers and local schools giving talks and fundraising for the Irish Kidney Association.
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 first competed at the World Games in Bangkok, Thailand in 2007 and sees being part of Transplant Team Ireland as an opportunity to show the world his ability to perform in sports activities that he could not do when on dialysis.
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.”
What do you hope to get from your World Games experience this year?
“Continue the awareness, meet other participants and old friends. I will also visit my son in New Zealand.”