'Transplants don't just save lives, they help create them'
Patrick Barry, who made medical history as the youngest Irish patient to receive a heart transplant when he was just 11 years old, has two special reasons to be grateful for the gift of life.
Patrick (33), from Tallaght in Dublin, is father to daughters Lyndsay and Emily.
His partner Amanda commented: "We always say if he was not generously donated someone's heart, these two girls would not be here. It is not just saving one life but creating others."
The couple were among a gathering of grateful patients in the Mater Hospital in Dublin yesterday to celebrate 30 years of heart transplants and 10 years of lung transplants. Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who marked the occasion, said that €3m extra was invested to improve donor and transplant services this year.
There were 251 transplants last year and the target for 2015 is a record 300. He paid tribute to Mater staff, who have performed 330 heart transplants and 130 lung transplants. Transplant co-ordinators who speak to next-of-kin about donating a loved one's organs are now in place and dedicated a transplant office is in operation, he added.