Sunday 30 April 2017

Tributes paid to boy (13) who died just over a year after double lung transplant

Arron O'Leary after his double lung transplant
Credit: Cork University Hospital website
Arron O'Leary after his double lung transplant Credit: Cork University Hospital website
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Tributes have been paid to a brave 13 year old boy who died just 14 months after undergoing a double lung transplant.

Arron O'Leary (13) died on Monday after the operation in the UK in December 2015.

The brave teenager died with his heartbroken parents, Paul and Caroline, by his bedside.

The couple from Ballinhassig in Cork had waged an incredible campaign to secure a transplant for Arron who suffered from cystic fibrosis.

When Arron was finally called for his transplant operation in Newcastle's Freeman Hospital in December 2015, the couple hailed it as their "Christmas miracle".

The young boy had, by that stage, just 29pc lung function remaining.

Arron had initially shown a remarkable recovery from the transplant procedure and had resumed the normal life of a teenager.

Within hours of the procedure, Arron was sitting up in bed in the Newcastle hospital and admitting to his parents he couldn't wait to try out his new XBox computer game.

Arron was also taken to visit Fota House in Cork and DisneyLand as part of Irish charity support for seriously ill children.

He died early yesterday morning after a short illness.

It is understood Arron had gotten seriously ill just before Christmas and doctors were unable to stabilise his condition.

His family were staunch campaigners for special CF supports at Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Just a few weeks ago, a motorcycle club comprised of former members of the Defence Forces and emergency services visited Arron and made him an honorary member.

As a mark of respect, a number of sporting events were cancelled in Ballinhassig and Ballygarvan.

Ballygarvan Ladies Football Club, in a statement, stressed that: "Our thoughts and sympathies are with Arron's family at this time."

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