Cobh man Ivan McCarthy will feature on RTÉ show – Hospital Live tonight.
Ivan climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with his son Alan in 2011 to celebrate his 60th birthday.
During his climb, the Cobh man developed a throat infection that led to his health deteriorate over an 18-month period.
“My son Léon was getting married in Sicily and I went to the doctor because my breathing was shallow, and I did not feel great. I felt I would be wasting my time going to Sicily,” Ivan said.
Ivan had to miss his son’s wedding due to his health.
“They sent me for tests, and they found that my heart was shot. I was actually in heart failure mode.
“They rushed me to ICU, and they installed a defibrillator and a pacemaker,” he said.
Ivan was in and out of hospital between 2013 and 2018 with a number of health difficulties.
Ivan dropped to eight stone and with no heart transplant in sight, a ventricular assist device was the only option.
“I stayed with my daughter Clodagh in Dublin because I had to go to the hospital every week for three months.
“She took time out of work and helped me with rehab. She was incredible from a psychological and empathic point of view. She got me out of the doldrums,” he added.
Ivan found the first three months after surgery quite difficult. He needed an over the shoulder bag to carry his equipment, as well as a tube coming from his stomach leading to a controller and batteries.
“When I came out of hospital I had a shoulder bag, which occupied one hand permanently. I play tennis and that was off the cards because of that.
“We went away and designed a backpack that contained all my equipment and I now have two hands. Up until that point I was depressed, and everything was about what I couldn’t do but now I focus on what I can do,” Ivan added.
Now with both hands free, Ivan can cycle, play crochet, golf and tennis without worrying.
Ivan’s story will feature on tonight’s instalment of Hospital Live at 7pm tonight on RTÉ One at 7pm.
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