Sufferer struggled to breathe in two-year wait for op
Willie Bresnan with his dog Chloe at his home in Co Tipperary and (right) with his brother Alan, who died in 2000, aged 16. DYLAN VAUGHAN
TEN weeks ago cystic fibrosis (CF) sufferer Willie Bresnan underwent a double lung transplant which has changed his life.
Prior to the operation he was constantly breathless and had to be tethered to an oxygen tank just to walk around.
Mr Bresnan (26), who was born with CF, a genetic disease which affects every organ in the body, spent most of the last seven years in and out of Cork University Hospital (CUH), which had no dedicated day-care facility, or in-patient beds, for CF sufferers.
The transplant recipient, from Rathdermot, Co Tipperary, was waiting for two-and-a-half years for his double lung transplant, during which time he occasionally had to wait for up to a week for a bed.
The disease has already claimed the lives of his brothers, Alan (16), who died in 2000, and seven-year-old Mark, who passed away in 1987. His sister Louise (21), is not a sufferer.
Mr Bresnan, who underwent his transplant at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle in England, has welcomed the fact that a dedicated day ward for adult CF sufferers is finally set to open next month at CUH.
CUH has the second-largest designated adult CF centre in the country, catering for 140.
Mr Bresnan believes the day-care centre would have made a huge difference to his quality of life when he was extremely ill.
"This is going to be a fantastic facility and one which would have made a huge difference to me before my transplant. It will be a huge help to CF patients like me in the region," he said.
"The last thing you need to worry about when you need to go into hospital is whether there will be a private room for you, or whether you will be susceptible to infection."
Mr Bresnan, who works in his father's business, hopes to return to work within weeks.
"It is important that resources continue to be ploughed into CF services to give patients the best chance at life," he said.