Wednesday , June 23 2021

True lung transplants are marked by 30 years of lifesaving surgery

Vera Dwyer, granddaughter Sarah Kiernan and daughter Della Beirne in Mater's Hospital
Vera Dwyer, granddaughter Sarah Kiernan and daughter Della Beirne in Mater's Hospital

The grandmother was recognized as the longest survivor of one patient in one lung in the Guinness Book of Records.

Vera Dwyer (77), from Co Sligo, yesterday was at a ceremony at the Mater in Dublin Hospital where she said surgery in the United Kingdom saved her life and allowed her the privilege of raising her children.

She said her longevity comes from the "positive thinking, good care and fresh air" of her hometown Sligo.

Mrs. Dwyer received a gold medal from the Irish Heart Association and the transplant lung to mark the 30th anniversary of her surgery.

In the 1980s, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, irreversible, chronic, and finally fatal fibrotic lung disease was diagnosed.

She was seriously ill when she went to Harefield Hospital near London in 1988.

However, thanks to the innocence of organ donors, she got new lungs.

"Another patient got another lung but did not survive," Mrs. Dwyer said.

At that time, lung transplantation was not available in Ireland and had to travel to England to rescue life.

The four-year-old mother, Grandma's seven-grandmother also received kidney transplantation in 2009 and underwent a hip replacement surgery surgeon in May last year.

"It is an absolute honor to receive this award. Thirty years ago I only got days to live and I am happy to be here," she said.


"I would like to thank all the doctors and nurses who helped me, especially those at the National Center for Heart and Lung Transplants at the Mater Hospital, which were wonderful in my care since the center was opened in 2003.

"But especially my two donors, without which I would not be here."

Professor Jim Egan said that 36 lung transplants were performed in Ireland last year, and the country is currently the fourth in Europe for a number of such operations per million inhabitants.

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