In a story that first appeared in the Evening Echo, Isabel Terry from Bishopstown in Cork says that she requires oxygen 24 hours a day as a result of a condition referred to as pulmonary atresia which occurs when the pulmonary valve does not form properly.
The 41-year-old is inviting social media users to post a photograph of themselves holding an organ donor card to feature on her new blog, Life On The List, which documents her battle as well as offering practical beauty advice.
Isabelle has undergone numerous open-heart surgeries and back in 2003 was given nine to 12 months to live.
She has since urged everyone to discuss organ donation with their families before it’s too late.
“It’s not the nicest conversation to have over dinner but it’s one we all need to start. Some people are uncomfortable with the idea, but why take your organs with you when they can save so many people?”
“I’ve already signed a document to say that after my transplant I will donate my own heart for research.
“I’ve been told there is a 30% chance I won’t pull through the operation but doctors feel I have the fight in me.”
Isabel confessed she almost gave up that fight after plunging into a coma back in 2001 following open heart surgery.
“For those three months I was in a coma I experienced nothing but nightmares. I made the decision not to go on the list as I never wanted to go through anything so frightening again.
“My father pleaded with me to think about it over Christmas but my mind was already made up.
“One day a brochure came through the door that featured a beautiful ring worth €1,000. I joked that I was putting it on my Christmas list.
“He told me that if I went back on the list he would buy it for me as a Christmas present.”
“I can remember coming downstairs and telling my dad ‘Get your cheque book. I’m officially on the list. We’re going into town to pick up my Christmas present.’”
After 13 years the idea of receiving a double lung and heart transplant seems surreal to Isabelle.
Visit Isabel’s Facebook page Life On The List to post their organ donor card selfie.
To request an organ donor card, you can visit www.ika.ie.