Orla Tinsley's recovery from double lung transplant continues

Urges public to sign up for organ donation

Conor McHugh

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Conor McHugh

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conor@leinsterleader.ie

Orla Tinsley's recovery from double lung transplant continues

Orla Tinsley

Newbridge woman Orla Tinsley is continuing her recovery from a double lung transplant which took place on December 20.

In an Instagram post on New Year’s Day she said she was feeling amazing. She is recuperating at the New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhatten where the operation took place.

It was the seventh time a pair of lungs had become available in the past few months, but the first pair that were suitable. Ms Tinsley has Cystic Fibrosis and has campaigned for greater services in Ireland for those with the condition.

The successful transplant took place just as the 30 year old was placed on life support in response to her worsening condition. 

“Ten days since double lung transplant great progress is being made,” she tweeted on Monday.  “I feel amazing! My team @nyphospital is superb and I am very lucky.” 

10 days since double lung transplant great progress is being made. I feel amazing! My team @nyphospital is superb and I am very lucky. You might notice I have an NG tube in my nose. This is because I still can’t swallow properly which can happen for a few different reasons and I am doing daily exercises to fix this. (I am dreaming of mashed potato with gravy, roast chicken, roast potato, carrots and a giant glass of milk ) My hearing has taken a hit too because that happens sometimes when you’ve on very high doses of oxygen or the feeding tube. It sounds like I’m under water mostly! With time, this should return. Every day feels like such a miracle. I have so much more energy than before and my motto will help conquer this journey “Be the tortoise, not the hare” what a beautiful way to start the new year! I am so grateful for my donor . I am so grateful to their family. I can’t wait until a few weeks from now when I’m running and swimming! #ninjamoves .#beatcf #recycleyourself♻️ HAPPY NEW YEAR!

A post shared by Orla Tinsley (@orla_tinsley) on

Referring to a large tube in her nose she remarked “I still can’t swallow properly which can happen for a few different reasons and I am doing daily exercises to fix this. (I am dreaming of mashed potato with gravy, roast chicken, roast potato, carrots and a giant glass of milk).

“My hearing has taken a hit too because that happens sometimes when you’ve on very high doses of oxygen or the feeding tube. It sounds like I’m under water mostly! With time, this should return.

“Every day feels like such a miracle. I have so much more energy than before and my motto will help conquer this journey: “Be the tortoise, not the hare” what a beautiful way to start the new year! 

“I am so grateful for my donor. I am so grateful to their family. I can’t wait until a few weeks from now when I’m running and swimming!” 

Earlier, she wrote on Twitter “My new year’s resolution is to honor my donor every day through exercise, hard work and gratitude.”

In the meantime she has urged the public to carry an organ donor card.

“Make sure to let your loved ones know your wishes, that is key. I was saved because of the forward thinking of a donor and their loved ones,” she tweeted in reference to a woman who was inspired to get an organ donor card having read her story.

Meanwhile it looks like she might be joining Kilcullen man James Nolan in representing Ireland in the Transplant Games. The Irish Kidney Association has reached out to her on Twitter and proposed that she aim for the World Transplant Games in Newcastle in 2019.

 “Definitely, if I can qualifiy,” Ms Tinsley responded. 

“The Irish team will have an open door for you,” the IKA said.

The past number of weeks have seen a significant jump in donations to Ms Tinsley on the GoFundMe account that was set up in her name in July by fellow Irish writer Belinda McKeon.

It has jumped approximately $10,000 to $96,833 as of this morning. The money will be used to support her while she recovers from the transplant. To donate, click here.