Sunday 25 September 2016

Double-lung transplant boy excitedly takes part in 'supermarket sweep'

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 09/01/2016 | 17:12

Arron O'Leary is recovering well after his double lung transplant
Credit: Cork University Hospital website
Arron O'Leary is recovering well after his double lung transplant Credit: Cork University Hospital website

After a frenzied dash to the UK for a double lung transplant, little Arron O'Leary (11) is now well enough to complete a 'supermarket sweep' that Dale Winton would be proud of.

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However the outlook wasn't so jolly in early December when he and his dad, Paul O'Leary, landed on English soil without a change of clothes or any Sterling in their pockets.

Paul had been at Cork University Hospital visiting his son when word filtered through that a set of donor lungs was available for Arron in the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Mere hours later he and his young son, from Ballinhassig in Cork, arrived at the UK hospital.

"That evening, after arriving in the UK, I strolled over to Sainsbury's in South Gosforth, thinking I might be able to get some Sterling there, and I got talking to the manager Lee.

"I explained why I'd arrived with no money and he was very sympathetic.

"He said when Arron was well enough, to bring him over and he could do a trolley dash paid for by Sainsbury's," he told the Irish Examiner.

Arron was thrilled to take the supermarket up on its offer, but his good manners meant he only selected two bars of chocolate.

Staff intervened and threw plenty of goodies into his shopping trolley.

"They made his day.

"You wouldn't believe the transformation.

"Before the operation his breathing sounded like he was walking around with his lips closed, breathing through a straw.

"Now you can hear him breathing clearly.

"It's an awful weight off our shoulders - we were running out of time and we'll be forever grateful to the donor," Paul said.

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