A COURAGEOUS Cork woman waiting 15 years for a rare double-lung and heart transplant has received the call that could potentially change her life forever.
Isabel Terry, from Bishopstown, has flown to Newcastle with her mother Deirdre and her boyfriend Philip after receiving a call from her transplant team to say they had found a match for all three organs she requires.
Isabel, who has previously had six unsuccessful calls for her rare transplant, said this morning: “At last just got the go ahead.”
Isabel requires oxygen 24 hours a day as a result of a condition referred to as pulmonary atresia, a birth defect of her heart’s pulmonary valve.
In 2003, she was given just nine to 12 months to live and advised she would need a heart transplant.
By 2009, Isabel’s health had severely deteriorated, to the point where she was advised she would also require a double lung transplant.
Speaking yesterday, before departing for Newcastle, she said: “The phone rang and they said: ‘Isabel, how do you fancy coming to Newcastle?’. They said it’s a match for all three organs but it’s a match on paper at this stage. The surgeon will still have to make the final call about whether to go ahead, so I’m travelling with hope.”
Ms Terry hit the headlines in August after the HSE failed to provide her with an air ambulance for a crucial appointment.
She had been facing the prospect of a gruelling 12-hour travel to the UK by car and ferry due to restrictions on oxygen bottles on commercial flights until the offer of a private jet came through.
Ms Terry also runs a Facebook page called Life on the List, where she writes about her experiences waiting for a transplant. She encourages her readers to post selfies with their organ donor cards, to promote awareness and prompt a conversation between family members about organ donation.
“It’s not the nicest conversation to have over dinner but it’s one we all need to start,” Ms Terry said.
To request an organ donor card, visit www.ika.ie.