Don’t be blasé about coronavirus around the less healthy, urges transplantee

A double lung transplant patient is urging people not to be blasé about the coronavirus precautions and to be mindful of others with compromised immune systems in their communities.
Don’t be blasé about coronavirus around the less healthy, urges transplantee

David Crosby, who took part in the 2019 Cork City Marathon, is urging people to be mindful of others with compromised immune systems in their communities.
David Crosby, who took part in the 2019 Cork City Marathon, is urging people to be mindful of others with compromised immune systems in their communities.

A double lung transplant patient is urging people not to be blasé about the coronavirus precautions and to be mindful of others with compromised immune systems in their communities.

Marathon runner David Crosby, 44, says that routines such as carefully washing hands and coughing into sleeves are part of his family’s daily lives since his life-saving operation in 2016.

The coronavirus scare affected his own travel plans to Japan last weekend when only the elite Olympic hopefuls were allowed to take part in the Tokyo Marathon, while entry for other participants was cancelled.

For David, undergoing the double lung transplant was his only chance of life after he was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an irreversible condition that causes scarring and hardening of the lungs.

It is a condition that robbed him of three of his siblings at a young age.

The former Meath GAA star went from strength to strength after the operation and has completed a number of marathons including the Boston, New York, Berlin, and London.

With the first case of coronavirus confirmed in Ireland, David says it is important to be mindful of others who may not be as healthy.

“Some people may be blasé about things because they are healthy but to organ recipients, people with respiratory conditions, the elderly, and even the very young whose immune systems are not yet fully developed, this could be deadly,” he said.

“Washing hands, using sanitisers, and even changing clothes are all part of the daily lives of transplant patients.

“We have to be mindful of other people and remember that even a handshake could hurt others.

“It’s not disrespectful not to shake hands with someone while this is going on,” he said.

“My parents are staying away from me for a few days because they’re only back from holidays. They are fine but, again, it’s just a precaution because of my own health.

“Have a bottle of sanitiser in the car with you and use it after being shopping, pushing trolleys, or even at a football game.”

David, who hails from Meath Hill but lives in Kingscourt, Co Cavan, still hopes to compete in the Chicago marathon in October but is a little disappointed about not being able to compete in Japan.

“It was probably for the best. I’ve been in constant touch with my medical team in the Mater and while they didn’t stop me from going, I’d say they preferred me not to go.

“But I’m still in training for Chicago and hopefully Tokyo again next year,” said David.

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