Dr Helen Tyler – Relative of Organ Donor & Recipient
Helen’s cousin Caroline was in her first year at medical school when Helen was in her final year at the same university. Sadly Caroline stepped out on to the street and was hit by a lorry. She never regained consciousness and suffered brainstem death. Her heart was donated to a student the same age, and both her kidneys and liver were also donated for transplant.
Caroline had been training to be a doctor and always wanted to help someone. By donating her organs she achieved that and also gave her family some comfort following a really devastating event.
Dr Tyler’s father in law received two kidney transplants which helped extend his life. The first gave him ten years free from dialysis and allowed him to return to work and spend time with his family. When he received his second transplant he was very ill and his recovery process was different but every month it gave him precious extra time.
Bernard McGucken – Lung Transplant Patient
Bernard McGuckin is a 61 year old grandfather from Denny and has suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) since 1999.
Bernard and two of his three brothers had been heavy smokers all their lives. Six weeks after one of Bernard’s brothers died from emphysema in 1999 (after begging his brothers to give up smoking) Bernard too was diagnosed with COPD. However despite watching his brother die from the condition it wasn’t until he was hospitalised in 2005 with severe breathing difficulties and the hospital consultant telling him: “It’s the fags or your life” that he finally gave up.
In those early days, Bernard had lost the will to live but when he finally joined the local Pulmonary Rehabilitation group his zest for life returned. Sadly his condition has worsened but he is extremely optimistic and looking forward to once again playing with his grandchildren. He believes more people should sign up for the register:
At the moment I can’t do anything really,” he explains. “I’m okay when I’m sitting down but as soon as I do something – like walking from the living room to the kitchen – I need to sit down. The ‘opt-out’ option is a good idea. Everyone should do it. People don’t really think about it and don’t realise that it can make a big difference to life.”