One of Ireland’s leading comedians Jarlath Regan has been speaking about his decision to donate a kidney to save his brother’s life.
The operation will take place early next year. Jarlath said he never had any doubts that stepping into help his brother was the right thing to do. Speaking to Eoghan McDermott on RTE 2fm, he said:
“My brother needs a kidney transplant and he asked me would I come over to test to see if I was a match.
“It turns out I’m a match and now it’s happening, so the operation is going to take place in the New Year to save his life essentially.”
Jarlath accepted that there are risks involved and he had to consider the welfare of his family.
“There is debate, I’ve got a kid and a wife, I need to be able to support them. My job needs me to be working all year round and I was very conscious off all these things.
“Families fall out over organ donation all the time. The mad thing about it is, plenty of people are walking around with two kidneys when they only need one.
“And there’s people lying in hospital’s dying, just wanting a kidney. There was no debate when it came to us, of course I’m going to save my brother’s life.”
While recognising the seriousness of the matter, Jarlath joked that it enabled him to establish his credentials as a nice fellah.
“It’s the ultimate good guy thing to do. From this point forwards no one can say I’m selfish, I’ll have medical evidence that I’m a decent human being.
“I’ll cut part of my body out to save another person’s life and I’ll be honest with you that is a factor in deciding to do it.
“Because like most Irish fellas I walk around a lot of the time trying to convince people that I’m a good guy.
“Now I don’t need to do that anymore.
“It’s one of those things, he’ll never be able to pay me back, but it’s not about that.
“It’s about helping him enjoy the rest of his life. He’d die within five years if he didn’t get this transplant but now he’ll get an extra 20 or 30 added to his life.”
Jarlath will continue his busy schedule of shows and broadcasting right up to the time of the operation. He is popular in both Ireland and the UK, and is a regular performer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.