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Thursday 18 September 2014

Organ recipient defied the odds

CASE STUDY

Published 27/03/2014 | 02:30

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26/03/2014 (L to r) Members of the Doherty family Deirdre & Brian with children Abbie 6 months & Ruth 3all from Kilkenny during the launch of Organ Donor Awareness week 20§14 at the Mansion House, Dublin. Organ Donor Awareness Week takes place from March 29th to saturday april 5th. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Members of the Doherty family Deirdre & Brian with children Abbie 6 months & Ruth 3

CYSTIC fibrosis sufferer Deirdre Roche Doherty entered the record books when she became the first woman who had undergone a triple transplant to successfully give birth.

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Deirdre (36), a secondary school teacher in Kilkenny, defied the odds when she had daughter Ruth, now three years old.

But she had another surprise yesterday when she introduced her second child Abbie, born five months ago, at the Organ Donor Awareness week launch.

"I decided to have one more go," said Deirdre who has had a lung, heart and kidney transplant.

Her pregnancy was carefully monitored and she gave birth by caesarean section in the Mater Hospital rather than a maternity unit.

She underwent a double heart and lung transplant at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital when she was 19, and received a kidney in 2009 when hers was damaged by medication.

Meanwhile, Liam Feeley, from Co Mayo, spoke movingly about losing his sports-mad brother Alan when he was just 28 years old, after he suffered a brain haemorrhage.

When it became clear Alan would not survive, his distraught parents Willie and Kathleen knew he would have wanted his organs donated to help others.

"Alan's legacy is that he has saved five lives, and there is comfort in that," said Liam.

Patrick Grimes (60), from Clonsilla, Dublin, was one of 11 patients to have a heart transplant last year after it became his only hope.

He suffered a cardiac arrest in 1997 and two years ago he could barely walk a few feet but is back enjoying country music and dance.

Irish Independent

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