When Patricia Gilhooley from Cavan found out she would need a lung transplant to treat her COPD, she was desperate for a better quality of life.
The Mater Foundation, the official fundraising body of the Mater Public Hospital, speak to patients from all over Ireland to gain an insight into their experiences and health journey in the Mater.
This week, they spoke with Patricia Gilhooley (pictured above), a Mater patient from Cavan who shared her story of receiving a double lung transplant.
This is Patricia’s story…
“I had been suffering with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) for about 5 years when my symptoms started to get worse.
“I was finding it increasingly difficult to breathe so I spoke to my GP and asked if he would be able to refer me to a specialist to see if I would be eligible for a transplant.
“After a while I was referred up to the Mater for an assessment. It was at that point that they realised that I was past the point where they could surgically repair my lungs and that I would need a transplant.
“From there I was referred onto the transplant team in the Mater.
“At first they didn’t know whether it would just be a single lung transplant but by the time I got the surgery, I needed a double lung transplant.
“They had both deteriorated so much and when they gave me the option of having the transplant I went for it, I just needed a better quality of life.
“At that point, I was finding it difficult to talk and was confined to the house.
“The exhaustion was really hard as well, even getting showered and dressed felt impossible.
“I was on the transplant list for about a year and a half and luckily there were no false starts.
“When I was called up on the 1st of November last year, the organs were a match for me.
“The whole experience of getting the transplant was great.
“I couldn’t fault the staff in any way, they were so attentive and would help you in any way they could.
“When I woke up I couldn’t believe the difference already and four days later I was up and walking again.
“The best part was the breathing though, I was delighted that I could talk and breathe again.
“It’s been six months since my double lung transplant now and it’s all still going really well.
“I’ve not had any issues with rejection and the staff in the Mater are still keeping a close eye on me.
“The aftercare I have received has been just brilliant and I would love to thank them all for the incredible support they’ve given me.”
The Mater Foundation is currently running its The Longest Day challenge to raise €100k in a day to fund five lifesaving 24hr non-stop dialysis therapy machines.
To find out more or to register to take part, visit fundraise.materfoundation.ie/