A police officer who saved the life of a young boy by giving him a kidney has been named this year’s 999 Hero at the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards, held in association with Ulster Bank.
Doctors told Joshua Dolan, from Enniskillen, he needed a transplant after they discovered his kidney function was just 17%.
PSNI Chief Inspector Graham Dodds, who previously served in the Fermanagh and Omagh area, didn’t hesitate to get in touch when he read a desperate appeal for help from Joshua’s mum.
Graham (45), a father of two boys, said that deciding to donate his kidney to the little boy was a “very simple decision”.
Joshua’s mum Mary made the public appeal last November after tests showed no family member was suitable.
By that stage, her son was in a critical condition and time was running out.
Graham got in touch to put himself forward for the operation as soon as he read Mary’s appeal in a newspaper.
Joshua was given the best Christmas present ever when Graham broke the news that he was a match, giving the child the gift of life.
With Covid meaning that transplant surgeries were cancelled, the operation only went ahead on May 18, when Graham came through a major four-hour procedure to remove his kidney at Belfast City Hospital.
The organ was then transported to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, where, in an hour-long surgery, it was given to Joshua.
Joshua hopes to one day become a police officer, so Graham arranged for him to visit Enniskillen police station
During the fun day out, the delighted nine-year-old was presented with a PSNI Commendation Medal for the bravery he showed during his long illness.
He is one of few people outside of the force to ever be presented with one.