BRAVE BOY: Thomas Howe (8), who is waiting for a kidney transplant, will feature on Virgin Media news bulletins along with his mother Olivia this evening (Friday). Photo: Michelle Crean




By Sean Moriarty


A Killarney boy who needs a kidney transplant is one of several local people who will appear on Virgin Media’s main evening news bulletin tonight (Friday) promoting the Irish Kidney Association’s (IKA) Christmas campaign.


Thomas Howe (8), will feature on the Virgin Media news bulletins along with his mother Olivia, as part of a national campaign by the IKA who are encouraging families to discuss organ donation when they gather for the festive season.


The Howe family face an anxious New Year as they wait to learn if Olivia is a match for Thomas.


“Christmas is a time when families gather and we want people to let their other family members know they are carrying a donor card,” Olivia told the Killarney Advertiser. “By just saying you have a card can spark a whole conversation about organ donation.”


Joining Thomas for the report, which was filmed in the IKA house in Muckross yesterday afternoon, is grateful transplant recipient and Transplant Team Ireland member Anna Pokjoska, a Killarney mother of one who underwent a kidney transplant in 2017. Just this summer she won a Silver and Bronze medal at the World Transplant Games. She also did the Ring of Kerry cycle earlier this year.


“Anna is such an inspiration,” added Olivia from Barraduff. “Out of her adversity, came true strength of character.”