Monday 23 July 2018

'I'm flabbergasted by the support' - Private individual steps in to fly woman in need of heart and lung transplant to UK

Isabel was born with pulmonary atresia. Between 1975 and 2001, she had three open heart surgeries.
Isabel was born with pulmonary atresia. Between 1975 and 2001, she had three open heart surgeries.
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A woman, who this time last week was facing a gruelling 13-hour journey to the UK for a medical appointment, has now been offered a private plane to travel on by a kind-hearted individual.

Isabel Terry (42) told last week how the HSE failed to provide her with an air ambulance for a vital hospital appointment in Newcastle on Tuesday.

Last Friday, a private individual got in contact after reading Isabel's story and arranged for her to travel by plane to the UK tonight.

The brave woman from Bishopstown, Co Cork has been awaiting a heart and double lung transplant for almost 14 years. She was born with pulmonary atresia and has undergone three open heart surgeries in her lifetime.

Isabel runs her own blog 'Life on the List'
Isabel runs her own blog 'Life on the List'

Isabel has to be hooked up to an oxygen tank 24 hours a day and cannot travel by a normal airplane. Because she hasn't flown in so long, her passport was out of date. The passport office in Cork and gardaí ensured she had a passport within the space of an hour and she is now set to travel for her much needed appointment.

"I am flabbergasted by the support I’ve got and the kindness that's been shown," she told the Neil Prendeville Show on RedFM.

A businessman had offered to take Isabel by private ambulance to Newcastle.

The journey would take around 13 hours but he had arranged for her to have oxygen and all the necessary equipment for the journey.

However, another individual, who wishes to remain anonymous, got in touch to organise air travel for the Cork woman, which will take just under an hour.

"I’m nervous enough going to Newcastle, I’m anxious that they’re going to say I'm too ill to do a transplant. You have to be well enough to get a transplant, but you’ve to be sick enough to get on the list," she told

Isabel described her condition as "deteriorating."

Pulmonary atresia is a form of heart disease in which the pulmonary valve does not form properly, meaning blood cannot flow to the lungs easily.

She said the lack of help offered by the HSE made her feel like she "didn't matter."

"I’m not a huge crier, but don’t get me wrong, I have my bad days. You have sick people and they’ll do a bucket list, but I have a list of things I’m going to do after my transplant. I’m going to see Rodeo Drive because Pretty Woman is my favourite film, I'm determined."

The HSE said it does not comment on individual cases for reasons of patient confidentiality.

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