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

 

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

From left: Thomas Kuecks, David Lane, John Ivison, Denis Berger, Rod Gray, and James Kuecks are Cabin Fever. Catch their performance on the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre website. (Ashley Foot photo)
A&E column: Music Festival winners, CVAC awards, and Cabin Fever

The latest from the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment community

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley MLA Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

BC Green Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

The city-owned lot at 361 St. Julien St., which has been home to a temporary homeless site for more than a year, will be sold and plans are to build a three-storey mixed-use development there, Peter de Verteuil, Duncan CAO explained at a recent council meeting. (File photo)
New development planned for homeless site in Duncan

Lot on St. Julien Street would see three-storey building

Historian and longtime Citizen columnist T.W. Paterson photographs the historical wreckage of a plane on Mount Benson. Paterson recently won an award from the British Columbia Historical Foundation. (Submitted)
Cowichan’s Tom W. Paterson wins award for historical writing

British Columbia Historical Federation hands Recognition Award to local writer

This electric school bus is the newest addition to the Cowichan Valley School District’s fleet. (Submitted)
Editorial: New electric school bus good place to start

Changing public transit like buses to electric really is important.

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

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

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

Most Read