ONE year on from receiving a life saving double lung transplant, a Lisnaskea man is urging everyone to become an organ donor.
Paul Slattery (54) who lives in Sylvan Hill began struggling to breathe in 2012, and five years later, he had survived a double lung transplant in Newcastle in England, and was on the road to recovery.
Paul had been working full time painting lorries and smoking when he started to feel breathless.
He stopped smoking but his condition continue to deteriorate so he gave in and went to his local GP, and after many tests and a biopsy, he tested positive for Idiopathic Plumary Fibrosis.
“After I was diagnosed, I was treated for while but I wasn’t getting better and my conditions was deteriorating all the time. I was the told that the only solution was to get a double lung transplant,” said Paul.
Paul was eventually put on the primary transplant list for six months, but his condition began to deteriorating and he was placed on the active list. While he was waiting on a suitable donor, he was on oxygen 24/7 and was unable to do everyday tasks.
During the early hours of June 21st 2017, Paul got the phonecall that he had been waiting on, and made his way to Belfast and was flown to Newcastle for his double lung transplant.
Paul explained that he had his suitcase sitting ready to go, and it was ‘absolutely magic to get the phonecall.’
Paul’s wife Kathryn accompanied him to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital and Paul had been in theatre for 14 hours when the consultant finally appeared and told her ‘it’s over.’
Now a year on from the transplant, Paul is still recovering but is urging everyone to become an organ donor.
“Everyone should be a donor – it is a sin to see organs going into the ground and being wasted when it could save someones life. You never know when it is going to come to your door, so it is crucial to be a donor.”
Paul continues, “It has been a long road for us. At the minute, I am keeping fairly good but I do have chronic rejection so we are trying to get that stabilised with treatment so we are getting there. I wouldn’t be here without my donor and I know that someone else has had to die to keep me alive but it is a great thing to give someone else life. We cannot thank the family of the donor or the doctors who have helped me enough.”
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