independent

Saturday 25 October 2014

It takes a gift to get lung patient to hospital

DOC CAN FINALLY TRAVEL FOR VITAL TREATMENT

MARISA REIDY

Published 07/11/2012 | 09:47

A SERIOUSLY ill North Kerry man will finally be able to drive to hospital in Cork for vital treatment - but it took a generous gift from a big-hearted Tralee family to get him there. Lung patient Doc Tanner needs a constant supply of oxygen to live. But because the oxygen cylinder he has to carry everywhere is classed as an explosive he is banned from public transport. He desperately needed a car to travel for vital treatment to CUH in Cork but his bank refused him a loan.

TheKerryman highlighted his plight and a Tralee family has now come forward and anonymously donated a car to the father of two. Mr Tanner said he and his family are overwhelmed by their generosity and compassion, adding that a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.

Mr Tanner, who is married with two young children, has severe emphysema and suspected cancer on one lung.

Last month, he was refused a loan of €2,500, leaving him in the desperate situation where he was unable to get to Cork for vital treatment. A BALLYHEIGUE man who was refused a bank loan to buy a car so he could travel to Cork for medical treatment is now making three trips weekly to CUH after a Tralee family donated a car to him.

Doc Tanner, who needs a double lung transplant, says he is blown away by the kindness of the family - who have asked to remain anonymous - who read his story in The Kerryman and offered to help.

Last month, the father of two told of his anger at being refused a bank loan of €2,500 to purchase a car, which he said was vital to get to and from Cork for treatment. He explained that he relies on a 24/7 supply of oxygen from a gas bottle backpack, but because the bottle is classed as an explosive, he is not allowed on public transport.

After reading his story in The Kerryman, a 'well known' family who run a business in Tralee got in touch to offer him a 00 Skoda, which he has described as a ' lifeline'

"This family saw my story and said they were touched by it and wanted to help. It was an incredible gesture because they don't even know me. They literally handed me the car which means I can now get up and down to Cork, knowing I'm not going to break down , which I could do with my old jeep which was totally unreliable," Mr Tanner said.

"Even though the family has asked to remain anonymous, I just felt I had to publicly thank them for their kindness. They would be quite well known and respected in Tralee and I can't thank them enough for what they have done for me because this treatment is vital.

Mr Tanner (58) also paid tribute to all the well-wishers who offered help and assistance since he went public with his story.

"I've been amazed by the amount of people who were genuinely touched by the story and who came up to me on the street offering to do whatever they could to help," he said. "I must have been offered about 10 or 15 phone numbers from people who wanted to help me. It's amazing."

Mr Tanner, who is married with two young children, has severe emphysema and suspected cancer on one lung and urgently needs a double lung transplant. However he is not eligible for the procedure here, so his only real hope now lies in the UK where he is entitled.

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