Newbridge native Orla Tinsley, the renowned Cystic Fibrosis campaigner, has appealed from her US hospital bed for members of the public to carry organ donor cards.
The Kildare woman, who has been at the forefront of the fight for improved services for Cystic Fibrosis patients in Ireland, is waiting on a desperately-needed lung transplant in New York-Presbyterian hospital.
The well-known writer, whose book, Salty Baby, about her early years growing up in Kildare with the condition was released in 2011, moved to the US several years ago to study at Columbia University.
She has been on the list for a double lung transplant since earlier this year. She has received the transplant call six times so far, but unfortunately no set of lungs has yet proved suitable.
Orla tweeted yesterday that she was “currently on life support fighting intensely”. She appealed for members of the public to carry organ donor cards. “Then you can live life and give life. Up to 8 people can be saved.”
Please carry a donor card and let your family know your wishes. Then you can live life and give life. Up to 8 people can be saved. I am currently on life support fighting intensely. Love x #beatcf #cysticfibrosis— Orla Tinsley (@orlatinsley) December 19, 2017
She also posted a picture of her oxygen mask on instagram, stating “ I am struggling a lot but I am strong and hopeful… We are hopeful that lungs are coming. My family are with me and we just need those lungs to come. Thanks everyone for your love and prayers and best wishes.”
This is a picture of my oxygen mask. It feels pretty apt to update with this as my entire focus now is on breathing. I am struggling a lot but I am strong and hopeful. You see, I’m a ninja. They don’t quit and they are adaptable to all situations. They karate chop their way with stealth, fancy foot work and a determined mind.I have an incredible team @nyphospital who are working intensely around the clock to keep me alive. We are hopeful that lungs are coming. My family are with me and we just need those lungs to come. Thanks everyone for your love and prayers and best wishes. Love, Orla
A fundraising campaign to cover Orla’s rehabilitation and other expenses after her transplant was set up earlier this year by her friend, the writer Belinda McKeown. It has, to date, raised over $85,000. You can donate here.