RESTAURANT critic Paolo Tullio has credited his partner Marian with saving his life on two counts, in the face of cardiac problems and acute kidney failure.
The Irish Independent's food expert is undergoing dialysis treatment three times a week – something he faces for the rest of his life unless a donor organ is found.
He also needed a stent inserted after being diagnosed with what doctors described as a "cardiac event" last year.
In an interview with John Meagher in today's 'Weekend Review', the 63-year-old, who lives in Annamoe, Co Wicklow, said that he only underwent the medical tests at Marian's insistence.
"My father died of a heart attack at 56, but he had become a really big man," he said.
"So it was on the cards. I would look at the headstones of the male members of the family and see that they had all died young."
And he said that his son Rocco volunteered to donate a kidney, "but as the problem is most likely to be hereditary, I told him he was best to hold on to it".
Tullio cheerfully admits to loving the good things in life. The treatment means he has to cut back significantly on his liquid intake, so he has to carefully ration his love of wine and coffee. However, he continues to smoke roll-up cigarettes.
"I suppose if I gave these up – or gave them up earlier in life – I might live a bit longer.
"But what's the point of being cautious all your life and denying yourself this and that in order to get a few years beyond, say, 85 when there's not a whole amount you can do any more?"