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Organ donation joy brings comfort to grieving family

AN Omagh man who died after a workplace accident almost three years ago gave the gift of life to three other people when his organs were donated, his grieving widow has revealed.
 
Stevie McTeague (51), who had been living in Loughmacrory, sustained fatal injuries at Terex GB Limited’s premises at Cookstown Road, outside Killyclogher, on July 14, 2016.
 
The father-of-two was crushed between two mobile stone-crushing machines which were stored along with others in a stockyard area.
 
He died at the South West Acute Hospital several days later, due to the crush injuries to his chest.
 
At Dungannon Crown Court last week, his employer, Terex GB, was fined a total of £150,000 for failings which resulted in Mr McTeague’s death.
 
Speaking to the Ulster Herald at her Loughmacrory home on Wednesday, his widow, Helen, said the decision to donate his organs had brought her comfort after the devastating tragedy.
 
She said, “It was a subject which never came up in our house, but I knew sitting by his bedside that if somebody had told me an organ would save him I would have taken it. So, I thought if I’m prepared to take one I must be prepared to give one. When they told us there was nothing else they could do, I asked about organ donation.”
 
Mrs McTeague said that her husband’s kidneys and liver had been used to save the lives of three people.
 
She said, “I’ve had three cards from the man that got his liver. His consultant had told him if he hadn’t got a liver, he would have been dead within three weeks. He’s continuing to do well.”
 
Urging more people to sign up for organ donation, she said, “I want something good to come out of something bad. 
 
“It brings you comfort. I know there’s a part of Stevie still out there and somebody has benefited.”
 
Mrs McTeague said that it is only now, at the end of the court case, that the family were starting to grieve for their beloved husband and father.
 
 
The couple had been together for 28 years – and married for 24 – when the accident occurred.
 
“Neither of us was perfect, but we were perfect for each other,” she said.
 
“We were preparing for our silver wedding anniversary. We were going to go to Vegas, a long-held dream. He was killed in July and we would have been 25 years’ married the following April,” Mrs McTeague added.
 
Describing the family as “very close”, she said her husband had been an “exceptional” father to their two sons, Conor and Ryan.
 
“They had moved on from a parent-child relationship and were on more of a level par. They talked about football, cars… It’s hit them very hard,” she said.
 
After a traumatic three years, Mrs McTeague and her sons are now preparing to “move forward” with their lives.
 
“Stevie will always be there. We talk about him every day. He’s still about and always will be. To me, we move forward and we bring him with us,” she added.
 
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