Boyle man: ‘Double lung transplant saved my life’

A Boyle man has told a moving story of how his life was transformed when he received a double lung transplant.

  Gordon Ryan, 38, underwent the surgery in the Mater Hospital, Dublin, in July 2013, and, with that, his life was transformed.

  Gordon was born with cystic fibrosis, but it was only when he was in his early 20s that the ravages of the condition began to take hold.

  “It is a progressive illness that affects the lung function because you get repeated lung infections. I was in and out of hospital consistently throughout my mid and late 20s, just getting sicker and sicker,” Gordon said.

  Having studied law at University College Galway, as it was known at the time, Gordon worked in the profession in Dublin until 2008. A deterioration in his health forced him to return to his north Roscommon home.

  “I couldn’t life independently, I was so sick,” Gordon said, looking back on a very bleak seven-year period of his life.

  Eventually, the downward cycle was halted three years ago, when he received his transplant. Since then, he has lived life to the full.

  “I have been a different person. I am totally able to do lots more. It’s been a total transformation,” Gordon said.

  “I am able to do anything I want now. I went to New York last summer, which was a dream, because I couldn’t fly for six years as I was so sick.”

  Gordon is currently training to be a journalist and is doing work experience with Ocean FM, the radio station, at Collooney, Co. Sligo.

  The remarkable recovery is without doubt attributable to his donor, whom he is extremely grateful to.

  “Without their decision to donate, I would not be alive,” Gordon said.

  Gordon was speaking in advance of the Irish Kidney Association’s Organ Donor Awareness Week, which runs from April 2 to 9. See www.ika.ie