Harry desperately waiting for lung transplant - following six false starts

**** NO REPRODUCTION FEE **** DUBLIN : 25/03/2013 : IKA CHIEF CALLS FOR INFRASTRUCTURE BEFORE CONSENT DEBATE TO INCREASE DONATION AND TRANSPLANTATION. The swings of Irish donation figures from year to year, was highlighted by the Irish Kidney Association at the national launch of Organ Donor Awareness Week attended by the Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly, T.D. at the Mansion House in Dublin today. 2010 was almost a record low for organ donation, 2011 was a record high and 2012, at 17% less than the previous year, was below average.  The Irish Kidney Association Chief Executive, Mr. Mark Murphy said, �SI don�"t know of another European country, even of a similar size population, with such wide swings in deceased donor activity⬝. Pictured (l-r) at the launch of Organ Donor Awareness Week was  Joe Duffy, RTE Liveline presenter Joe Duffy and ambassador of Organ Donor Awareness Week with Harry English from Ballyporeen, County Tipperary (waiting lung transplant) with his wife Mary Pat and daughter Megan.
A fifty two year old father of three who is awaiting a lung transplant has appealed to the public to consider donating their organs.

A fifty two year old father of three who is awaiting a lung transplant has appealed to the public to consider donating their organs.

On six occasions Harry English, from Ballyporeen has travelled to the Mater hospital in Dublin for an operation only for it not to proceed and he is still on the list waiting for a call.

“It’s heartbreaking when it does not go ahead but I am used to it now,” said Harry who is married to MaryPat and they have three grown up children Danny (27), Harry (25) and Megan (22).

Harry is on the waiting list now for the last two years and the setbacks are something that he was advised about at that time.

“When I was put on the list two years ago I was told that on average there would be three calls that would not work out and that I would be very disappointed. I have had six calls now but, a lot of time the lungs are damaged because they are retrieved from people in road traffic accidents, I am just waiting every day for another call,” said Harry.

Harry has a lung condition called Alpha One. His lung function is very poor and he requires a portable oxygen supply. He remains optimistic that he will receive a lung transplant in the near future.

“At the moment it is very hard, I would love to be able just to do something but I am very confined at the monent. I can sit down and read a paper and after just a small walk I get very tired. I can do very very little at the moment,” he said.

He issued an appeal to people to become an organ donor to help those who are awaiting transplants.

“A lot of people think about it but it’s vitally important that they actualy make the decision and carry a card which can be picked up in so many places and it can also be put on your driving licence. It is important peole who want to become an organ donor actually go about doing it and don’t put it off,” said Harry.

Harry, who worked in a warehouse in Ballygiblin, had to give up his job five years ago because he was getting shorth of breatdh.

“I had experienced problems for years before that but it was getting worse and worse. I was smoking twenty to thirty cigarettes a day, I put it down to that, and after a few years I started to get chest infections. I was diagnosed twelve years ago with emphezema and seven years ago I was told I had Alpha One and that I would eventually need a lung transplant,” he said.

Harry travelled to Dublin recently with his family to help launch Organ Donor Awareness Week, which finished last Saturday, Organ Donor Cards can also be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association  LoCall 1890 543639 or Freetext the word DONOR to 50050. Visit website www.ika.ie

It is now possible to store an organ donor card, the ‘ecard’ on Smart mobile phones. Simply search for ‘Donor ECard’ at the IPhone Store or Android Market Place.

Almost 3000 people in Ireland are enjoying extended life away from hospital as a result of receiving organ transplants. There are currently over 600 people in Ireland waiting for life-saving organ transplants including heart, lung, liver, kidney 
and pancreas.