Irish Heart and Lung Transplant Association

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Ernesto Antonio completes the Dublin Marathon in Memory of his Donor

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Fifteen years on from his heart transplant, Ernesto Antonio ran the Dublin City Marathon in memory of his Donor who gave him the gift of life.     Ernesto is a very keen and very fit sportsman.   He has a large tally of medals to his name from taking part for the Irish Team in the European Heart and Lung Transplant Games over the years.  
Congratulations on a fantastic achievement - All in the IHLTA are all very proud of you Ernesto.  

Read Ernestos story.

Celebrating15 years since receiving his life saving heart transplant, Ernesto Antonio took part in this year’s Dublin City Marathon proudly displaying the very personal sentiment “in memory of my donor”.
Since his transplant at the Mater Hospital Dublin in 1999 Ernesto has undertaken a multitude of huge physical challenges on land and in water across Europe and he has also climbed Kilimanjaro to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation. In 2009 when he participated in the Dublin City Marathon he broke a world time record for a heart transplant recipient. Cheering on his success as he crossed the line at this year's marathon, was his wife Kate and daughter Isabella as well as his sister and brother and nieces from Galway.
Ernesto from Bushy Park, in Galway and now living in Essex explained, "from having barely 15 hours to live I have had 15 amazing years thanks to my donor and their family and I hope it will encourage others to carry a donor card so that more people can also receive the gift of life”.

“Since my transplant fifteen years ago I have done numerous half marathons and triathlons, I did the Ironman 70.3 in my native Galway, I’ve swam the English Channel in a relay, swam across Galway Bay, cycled Lands End to John O’Groats, cycled London to Paris, climbed Kilimanjaro, raced across Scotland in two days and represented Ireland at the European Heart and Lung Transplant Games, and at the Transplant Games in Lithuania this year I won a Silver and 5 Gold medals. My donor's heart has made all of this possible. My aim in undertaking all these challenges is always to create awareness and promote organ donation awareness".

Ernesto now works as a theatre charge nurse in Essex, England which sometimes involves emergency surgery and brings him in contact with transplant coordinators for organ retrieval.  Ernesto recalls having been at death’s door in 1999 and says “I remember desperately hoping for a heart transplant in time for my daughter Isabella’s sixth birthday.  It came a week later. She is now 21 and attending university. It is thanks to my donor that I have seen her grown up". This will not be  Ernesto’s first time to take part in the Dublin Marathon as his first outing was in 2006 (see his account in a link below) and he  broke a world time record for a heart transplant recipient in Dublin in 2009 with a time of 3.45. "I’m a little older now and care less about my finishing time and simply enjoy being able to take part", said Ernesto.

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 February 2015 21:17

Irish Heart and Lung Transplant Association CHARITY CHRISTMAS CARDS

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Beautiful Christmas Cards painted for us by the girls in Eureka School in Kells, Co. Meath who continue to do such fantastic work, along with their teachers, in creating Organ Donor Awareness among schools all around Ireland.

100% of the sale of these cards go directly to the Irish Heart and Lung Transplant Association.    

€5.00 per pack of 8 cards.   To purchase email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Phone 087-2281159 or 01-2957785.


Varadkar congratulates Mater for Ireland's 100th Lung Transplant

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Minister Varadkar said: "This is a great achievement for the Mater and for Irish medicine. I want to congratulate everyone involved including surgeons, physicians, nurses and support staff, who have worked hard as a team to raise our lung transplant rates. The impact of their work on the lives of their patients is immense."

"I am heartened that the 2013 level of transplantation is being maintained this year to the benefit of patients, their families and friends."

Prof. Mary Day said: "The completion of the 100th lung transplant at the Mater Hospital reflects an extraordinary level of expertise and commitment from the Hospital's multi-disciplinary team involved in lung transplant over the years since the first lung transplant in 2005. We are now extremely fortunate that the transplant team is led by a  group of young, dedicated  consultants who have amassed enormous experience internationally and  whose return to Ireland and the Mater Hospital ensures our lung transplant programme compares favourably with any in the world. Our objective is to copper fasten the level and quality of care for our lung transplant patients into the next decade."

The number of transplants grew substantially in 2013 when 32 people benefited from the life-changing gift of a new lung.  More lung transplants were carried out in 2013 than for the previous four years, which saw Ireland rise from 13th place in Europe for lung transplantation to third.

Minister Varadkar paid tribute to Prof. Jim Egan, Director of Organ Donation and Transplant Ireland, for the continued progress being made in increasing kidney, heart and liver, and lung transplantation rates.  

He also paid tribute to donors and their families for their great generosity.  "I hope the benefits enjoyed by transplant recipients will continue to be a source of some consolation to families in their time of grief."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 12:04

European Heart and Lung Transplant Championships - Lithuania

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Congratulations to the nine Athletes who represented Ireland at the European Heart and Lung Transplant Championships in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Between them they won six Gold Medals, ten Silver Medals and eight Bronze Medals.   A real tribute to their Donors and all Donors.

Last Updated on Monday, 21 July 2014 11:14

Ladies Mini Marathon 2014 - Thank You!

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A big thank you to all the ladies who did the Flora Women's Mini Marathon for us last Monday.   This year we had our biggest group ever out there walking, jogging and running for the Irish Heart and Lung Transplant Association, creating donor awareness and making a difference.   In the sea of 40,000 teeshirts for lots of different charities it was fantastic to sometimes come across some other IHLTA ones on the way around!    Here are a few of the photos -  Well done to everyone! 

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2015 21:40

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