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RTE Television

Joe Brolly - Perfect Match

A year ago, one of Irelands best-known sports pundits, Joe Brolly, donated a kidney to a man he hardly knew. It was an astonishing act of kindness. Shane Finnegan a Belfast based PR executive and father of three was seriously ill with renal failure. Both men hoped that the transplant would be the end of a long ordeal. In fact, it turned out to be just the beginning of an extraordinary journey..

Joe Brolly Perfect Match is a compelling observational documentary that follows Shane and Joe every step of the way.

This documentary captures the journey undertaken by Joe and Shane from the moment of the operation and its harrowing aftermath, to their campaign to transform the success rates of organ donation on the island of Ireland.

The documentary goes behind the scenes into the corridors of power, North and South, as Joe and Shane attempt to change the organ donation law of consent to Soft Opt Out.

Viewers are brought into the operating theatre as six lives are potentially saved by the generosity and organs of just one donor.

And, of course, the documentary crew are flies on The Sunday Game wall, where Joe provocatively hits the sporting headlines all summer long.

This is a story of suffering. But its also an uplifting tale of hope and the generosity of the human spirit.

Most of all, its a story of the unbreakable bond between two men and their drive to save the lives of the almost 700 people on the organ transplant list.

Joe Brolly said: When I gave Shane Finnegan a kidney it opened a door into a hidden world for me. Since then I have been on a remarkable voyage through life, death and love. During this time I have been accompanied by the documentary team at Loosehorse. It is, I believe, an extraordinary record of those events. I hope it will help to save many lives.

Background Information:

* There are approximately 600 people currently on the transplant list in the Republic of Ireland. Approximately100 more, North of the border, are awaiting organs. The vast majority of these need kidneys.

* This year there will be approximately 180 renal transplants performed in the Republic of Ireland.

* Most recent figures (BMA, 2012) place Ireland 23rd in the world for organ donation rates with 20.3 donors pmp (per million of population). The top 14 in the list are all opt-out systems. Spain is the highest with 34.3 pmp.

* In the ROI, the annual cost of dialysis is approximately 70,000 per person. Over fifteen years,

transplantation saves the exchequer approximately 680,000 per patient.

Further details of the campaign can be found at www.makelifeyourlegacy.com

Helplines:

Cystic Fibrosis Ireland
www.cfireland.ie
LoCall: 1890 311211

Opt for Life
www.makelifeyourlegacy.com

Irish Kidney Association
www.ika.ie
For organ donor cards, Freetext the word DONOR to 50050 or Locall 1890 543639.
Donor cards can now be stored on smart phones by downloading the free Organ Donor Ecard app.

Joe Brolly - Perfect Match
  • RTÉ One, Monday, 9.35pm