Thursday 21 November 2019

'It's not all doom and gloom'

Kate Kavanagh Picture: Frank McGrath
Kate Kavanagh Picture: Frank McGrath

Gavin White

A cyctic fibrosis (CF) sufferer has said she "wouldn't reach her forties" if she hadn't received a double-lung transplant in 2014.

Kate Kavanagh (29), originally from Galway, but now living in Sandymount, Dublin, wants to show sufferers "it's not all doom and gloom" ahead of 65 Roses Day, which raises awareness of CF.

CF is Ireland's most common life-threatening inherited disease which causes severe lung and chest infections often leading to damaged lungs.

During her early teens Ms Kavanagh was constantly getting infections and would spend up to four week spells in hospital on antibiotics.

In her twenties, hospital visits were becoming more of a regular occurrence and "antibiotics stopped working".

She said St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin became her "second home". In 2013 she joined the waiting list for a double-lung transplant and said "waiting for the call was emotionally draining".

However, she refused to let a negative attitude get the better of her.

Since the operation she no longer uses nebulisers, doesn't cough any more and her lungs are clear of cystic fibrosis. She enjoys outdoor pursuits and took part in the VHI Women's Mini-marathon for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland last year.

People can donate to Cystic Fibrosis Ireland by buying a purple rose for €2 nationwide, donating online or texting 65ROSES to 50300.

Irish Independent

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