Organ Donation

Organ Donation

  • Happy 26th (Transplant) Anniversary to Brendan McLoughlin from Ballybofey, County Donegal. The longest living CF lung transplant recipient in Ireland.

    Brendan Mcloughlin (PWCF) celebrates the 26th anniversary of his lung transplant on the 11th of August 2018. Brendan is currently in the very good care of the Mater Hospital in Dublin. He was originally transplanted in Newcastle, England on the 11th of August, 1992.

    Brendan was given a single lung transplant in 1992, which is still quite unusual for patients with CF. Brendan recalls ‘they took two lungs out and put one back!’. He remembers ‘before the operation I was gasping, struggling for health.. I couldn’t lie flat- there had to be six pillows supporting me. Afterwards everything had completely changed. It was like a new life’ 

    The transplant was very successful and until the last year or so, Brendan was living independently. 

    Brendan also needed a kidney transplant which was successfully performed in Dublin in 2002. Brendan is one of the longest surviving lung transplant recipients in the world. The world record for a single lung transplant is held by an Irish great grandmother, Vera Dwyer who has a different condition (Fibrosing alveolitis) and was transplanted in the UK in 1988. In 2017, Vera was verified by the Guinness book of records as the the longest living single lung transplant recipient in the world (29 years).

    Brendan has long campaigned for the rights of people with disabilities and in recognition of his work, earlier this year Philip Watt, CEO of CFI presented Brendan with a copy of an Irish Time article from 1992 that featured his lung transplant.

    On behalf of all of us in CFI, we wish our friend Brendan happy anniversary!

  • Double Lung Transplant for CF Advocate Orla Tinsley

    Cystic Fibrosis Ireland sends our love and best wishes to the wonderful CF Advocate Orla Tinsley who we understand has been called for a double lung transplant in New York Presbyterian Hospital. 

    After several months on the transplant list and six calls, hopefully this will prove 'lucky number seven' for Orla.

    On behalf of CFI and the CF Community in Ireland we wish Orla success with her transplant, our thoughts are with her and her family at this time.

    Philip Watt
    Cystic Fibrosis Ireland 



    Good news on Organ Donor Consent 

    21 January 2019

    The Irish Government has indicated its intention to bring forward to the Cabinet 'soft opt out' organ donor consent next month (February 2019) as part of the Human Tissue Bill.

    This is strongly welcomed by Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, which is part of 7 patient groups in the Irish Donor Network (IDN) that supports the change in donor consent from opt in to soft opt out. We believe this change will result in more solid organs for transplantation (heart, lung, kidney, pancreas and liver).

    Under the proposed change, it will be presumed that most people in Ireland want to donate their organs (this is supported by opinion polls) and there will be an online Register for those that want to opt out.

    Next-of-Kin will still be consulted under the new system. This why it is called ’soft’ opt out.

    A hard opt out is where Next-of-Kin are not consulted. Understandably the ‘hard’ opt out system is not proposed for Ireland for ethical and practical purposes.

    Cystic Fibrosis Ireland urge our members to make their views known during this debate, especially those families that have benefited from a double lung transplant. 


    For further updates, visit the website of the Irish Donor Network (IDN)

    See the letter from CFI/IDN published in the Irish Times or





    Very moving BBC item on ‘soft opt out’ organ donation consent – Please watch this

    Cystic Fibrosis Ireland (CFI) which is part of the 7 patient groups in the Irish Donor Network (IDN), notes that in England ‘soft opt out organ donor consent’ has been fast-tracked by Prime Minister Theresa May and has passed its last hurdle in the UK Parliament.

    Currently England has an ‘opt in’ scheme with shares much in common with the present system in Ireland. One of the factors that has contributed to fast tracking of the new form of organ donor consent in England and more recently in Scotland has been the success of soft opt out in Wales.

    Meanwhile, Minister for Health,  Simon Harris TD has recently restated the promise in the Programme for Government to introduce soft opt out donor consent into Ireland. This is very much welcomed by CFI and IDN. Philip Watt, CEO of CFI stated

    ‘We very much hope that the introduction of soft opt out donor consent in Ireland is also fast-tracked and that adequate resources are provided to support this change.’


    Max and Kiera’s Law  
    The law to change organ donor consent in England is to be named after Keira Ball from County Devon in SW England who was killed in a road accident when she was just 9 years of age. Her donated organs helped save the lives of Max (11 years old) and 3 others (see the video in the BBC report). 



  • Transplantation & Organ Donation

    Lung Transplantation

    Transplants are a crucial part of the range of recognised interventions needed to manage Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Like any other major surgery, transplants carry considerable risks and a transplant is appropriate only for a patient who is severely ill and has tried all other forms of conventional treatment. To these patients, lung transplantation can offer both a chance of an extended life and a significantly better quality of life.

    Double lung transplants for adult patients in Ireland are carried out in Dublin (Mater Misericordiae University Hospital) and in Newcastle, England (Freeman Hospital). The quality of the surgery and care before and after surgery in both centres is very high which is reflected in success rates. There are separate waiting lists for both hospitals. Pre and post-transplant support for all transplant patients is undertaken in the Mater Hospital irrespective of where the surgery is carried out. Lung transplantation is rarely proposed for children because of the range of options of other treatments that are now available, but this surgery is not carried out in Ireland and children with CF who need a transplant are referred to a UK transplant centre. 

    Recent Progress in the Irish lung transplant Programme

    The appointment in October 2011 of the first dedicated lung transplant surgeon in Ireland to the Mater has been an important development. She joins the already experienced team in the Mater that includes surgeons Mr Lars Nolke and Mr Jim McCarthy and transplant coordinator, Professor Jim Egan. Thanks to support from charities, including CF Ireland and ‘Second Chance’ the Mater is also using Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion which makes more lungs available for transplantation.

    The Mater Hospital Lung Transplant Booklet

    If you are interested in learning more about the Mater Hospital website provides a wide range of background information on all the phases of lung transplantation, including the Pre Transplant; Operation and Post Transplant Phases. Cystic Fibrosis Ireland provided financial support for this website - visit Mater Hospital Website 

    CFI Support for Transplantation and Organ Donation

    CF Ireland provides support for people under going transplant assessment or transplantations.  Please see our Transplant Assessment/Transplant Grant Scheme or contact Sam in CF House on Tel: 01-4962433 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

    Carry an Organ Donor Card. Visit the Irish Kidney Association