A UNION Hall family has raised over €8,000 for the Mater Hospital.
Michael Miles – who has had a double lung transplant – and his family, from Union Hall, raised €8,500 in aid of the Mater Hospital Foundation and the Irish Heart and Lung Transplant Association (ILHTA) after hosting a Monster Bingo night in the West Cork Hotel in Skibbereen.
Over €7,100 of the money is for the Mater Hospital’s Heart and Lung Unit and €1,500 is for the IHLTA.
Before 2005, all Irish patients needing lung transplantation had to travel to Newcastle in the UK to receive their transplant. Now the Mater Hospital provides Ireland’s only heart and lung transplant centre. In 2014 the Mater carried out 31 lung transplants.
Michael’s daughter Laura Collins helped to organise the event. ‘We raised the money for the Mater Hospital because Dad spent so long in there and they were so good to him. They saved his life more than once.’
She said it all began 12 years ago when her dad had an abscess in his lung and emphysema. ‘He was in and out of hospital for years and very much on his last legs. After being in hospital for Christmas, he came home to die,’ she recalled, and said she’ll never forget being told by the hospital they had lungs for him. ‘He was seventeen-and-a-half hours in theatre, and he had a double lung transplant. They did an incredible marathon procedure and gave us our Dad back. He was in the Mater for 158 days.’
Laura explains that Michael still has a long way to go. ‘But he’s doing well now and walked to the beach at home for the first time in years. The kids love having their granddad back. He was 60 doing his assessment and on his 61st birthday, he was recovering from his transplant,’ she said.
Michael’s neighbours, family and friends all got together to help him with his amazing fundraising efforts. Laura wanted to give a special mention to Francis Newman, Martin Carroll, Colette O’Brien, Steve Davis, Billy Newman, and their partners Tom, Lee and Emma for their continued support. She urged people to talk to their family members, and let them know if they do or don’t want their organs donated.
The Mater Hospital Foundation is the official fundraising arm of the Mater Hospital which enables financial support from the community and corporate supporters to aid in the provision of exceptional patient care.
Mary Moorhead, CEO of the Mater Hospital Foundation said Michael and his family have been through a terrible ordeal. ‘Thankfully they have had amazing support from each other, friends and the community. And the funds that have been raised will help towards improving patient care in the Mater Hospital and particularly the Heart and Lung Unit.
‘Our latest achievement in the unit has been the provision of a bespoke seating system for post-transplant patients.’ To support the work of the Mater Hospital Foundation see www.materfoundation.ie or call 01-8303482.