Sunday 18 March 2018

Mum has first heart-lung transplant op in Ireland

Adrianne Roberts with her husband and daughter Photo: RTE
Adrianne Roberts with her husband and daughter Photo: RTE

Jane O'Faherty

A young Carlow mum has made history by becoming the first patient to undergo a heart-lung transplant in Ireland.

Adrianne Roberts from Myshall, near Carlow town, underwent the ground-breaking procedure at the Mater Hospital during the summer.

However, details of the 18-hour operation at the Mater Hospital were only released now so she would have time to recuperate.

Adrianne (31) had suffered from a congenital heart defect from birth, which made otherwise simple tasks like coming down stairs exhausting.

"It was very difficult. I was very short on breath," she told RTÉ News. "Even to light a fire, I used to have to end up sitting on the floor."

Adrianne added that she was "excited and scared at the same time" before the complex operation.

"Being the first in Ireland, it's difficult to know what's going to be the outcome," she said. "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.

"Oh, I can't wait. I haven't been home in seven months, so I'm really looking forward to Christmas with my daughter and my husband," she said.

Professor David Healy, a cardiothoracic surgeon at the Mater Hospital led a large medical and surgical team involved in the operation.

He called Adrianne's condition a "very unique case" but added that Ireland will see similar operations 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.

Irish Independent

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