Saturday 21 April 2018

'I can't wait to spend Christmas with my husband and daughter' - Young mother (31) becomes first patient in Ireland to undergo heart-lung transplant

Credit: RTE News
Credit: RTE News

Louise Kelly & Jane O'Faherty

A young mother has become the first patient in Ireland to undergo a heart-lung transplant.

Carlow woman Adrianne Roberts (31) underwent the historic procedure several months ago at Dublin's Mater Hospital.

The details of the 18 hour transplant are only being revealed now as the mother of one was allowed "time to recuperate".

"I was excited and scared at the same time [about the operation]," Ms Roberts told RTE News this evening.

Credit: RTE News
Credit: RTE News

“Being the first in Ireland, it’s difficult to know what’s going to be the outcome.”

“But I was lucky. I’m here to tell the tale."

Now that she has recovered, Adrianne is set to return home from the Mater just in time for Christmas.

"I haven't been home in seven months. I can't wait to spend Christmas with my husband and daughter."

Ms Roberts, who has suffered from a life-threatening congenital heart defect from birth, will be discharged from hospital tomorrow.

Professor David Healy, consultant cardiothoracic surgeon, performed the surgery, supported by a large medical and nursing team.

He called Adrianne’s condition a “very unique case” but added that Ireland will see similar cases appearing regularly in the future.

Up until 2014, heart-lung transplants on Irish patients were performed in Britain under an arrangement with the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

But it is now hoped that the Mater will be able to perform five of these operations a year from 2016.

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