Mother of west Belfast schoolboy (16) says his organs have given life to six children
THE mother of a 16-year-old schoolboy from west Belfast who died suddenly has told of how her son's organs have given life to six children.
Speaking after the tragic death of her son Pearse last Thursday, Michelle Connors said "he is still out there" following the organ donation.
Requiem Mass for the teenager was celebrated earlier this week at St Oliver Plunkett Church when mourners heard Pearse described as a "gifted sportsman".
The La Salle College pupil was a talented footballer and dedicated member of St Oliver Plunkett Football Club.
At his funeral service Fr Aidan Brankin spoke of the community's shock at the "tragic death of someone so young".
"In a short 16 years, Pearse touched so many lives and so many hearts...he has left so many memories," he told mourners.
He added: "It's not a sign of weakness to ask for help, it's a sign of wisdom".
Following the funeral, his heartbroken mother told of how six children, including a three-year-old boy, have benefited from his organs.
"Pearse passed at 2.10pm on Thursday," she told the Andersonstown News.
"As a family we decided to donate his organs.
"We left the hospital on Friday evening and we were told that a wee three-year-old boy had received his kidney.
"We later got a phone call to say that five other kids had received his organs. He is still out there."
Pearse had joined St Oliver Plunkett FC at the age of four and most recently played on the Under 18 squad.
"He just breathed Plunkett through and through," Ms Connors said.
"He was a real club man, Plunkett meant so much to him."
In a statement on its Facebook page, St Oliver Plunkett FC said Pearse's death has "ripped right through the heart our club".
It said members had been "left absolutely devastated" by Pearse's death.
"It’s been very difficult finding the words to explain the feeling that has ripped right through the heart our club over the past couple of days," it said.
"Right now though our club will rally around to provide support to Pearse’s wonderful family who we offer our sincere condolences to, and to Pearse’s coaches, teammates, friends and to the wider community of Lenadoon who have no doubt been affected by Pearse’s passing."
Pearse was laid to rest in St Joseph's Cemetery, Hannahstown.