Double lung transplant warrior Orla Tinsley grateful for support after health setback

Double lung transplant warrior Orla Tinsley who is back in hospital after a health setback has thanked the public for their get well wishes and support.

Last December she has celebrated her first year since her life-saving operation and over the weekend she celebrated turning 32 years of age in enforced medical isolation.

The Cystic Fibrosis campaigner, who now lives in New York city in the United States, took to Twitter on Sunday night to say: “Thanks for all the messages of support and get well messages. EMTs, ER and transplant team were on hand. I’m in a New York hospital.”

Over the weekend she revealed she was ill again. “Thankful to finally get a bed today. Thankful to those who worked hard for me to get it.

“Thankful treatment is working and will be well soon. Thankful for all the people who wished me happy birthday.”

Prior to a bed being found for her at the hospital she revealed that she had been in an ER cubicle for three days.

“Construction has just begun on the floor above my ER cubicle. They are drilling loudly. It is my third day in the ER.”

She added: "In better isolation room now. Grateful to patient services for support. Surprised at how often I had to repeat, ‘transplant patients need isolation.’ You are always your best advocate.”

The young woman received scores of messages hoping that she gets better and to wish her a happy birthday.

One tweet read: “Happy Birthday Orla from a fellow double lung transplant recipient. The struggle is real but you got this! Keep on keepin’ on Orla.”

Another added: “Hope you get to celebrate your birthday out of hospital soon Orla…the warrior woman can defeat any challenge.”

Orla Tinsley
Orla Tinsley

Cystic Fibrosis is a lifelong genetically inherited disease that mainly affects the lungs and the digestive system.

The Kildare-born journalist has been at the forefront of the fight to improve awareness and services has written extensively on the subject.

Her campaign work was instrumental in the opening of a dedicated CF unit in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin.

Ms Tinsley featured in a documentary on RTÉ last September which followed her journey and experiences of living everyday life with the condition both in Ireland and in New York where she is studying at Columbia University.

The documentary, Orla Tinsley: Warrior, was filmed over 14 months and documented her failing health, the excruciating six false alarms, and the lucky seventh transplant call which arrived at the 11th hour, just in time to give her a new chance at life.

While on life support at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, the Kildare woman still allowed the camera crew to document the distress, the disappointment, and the life-changing surgery.

She shared the moments of elation and devastation to raise awareness about organ donation, transplants, and Cystic Fibrosis. Ms Tinsley has yet to be allowed by medics to return to Ireland for health reasons although she is hoping to make a trip in September.

Following the documentary, hundreds of people took to social media to praise her resilience.

Some 650 families going through similar experiences right now awaiting organ donation according to the Irish Kidney Association.

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