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The part Kenny show on news talk with Marter private network during current restrictions. Don't ignore your health concerns. Our expert team is ready to help. In 1993, at the age of 11, my next guest became the youngest person in Ireland to have a heart transplant. It was a huge news story at the time and in fact, I interviewed him from his hospital bed.


Well, Patrick Barrie is taking part in the 100 miles a month challenge for February to thank the Mater Hospital for the lifesaving care that he received all those years ago. And Patrick is on the line.


Patrick, good morning and welcome. Good morning. Hi. Nice to speak to you again. Many millions ago dollars last time, but to be actually 28 years this December, this December, 28 years.


Well, I'm delighted to speak to you because back in those pioneering days of heart transplants, particularly in children, there was no guarantee that, you know, we'd be talking 10 years on from that date, never mind 28 years.


So it's a fantastic success story.


Yeah, it was it was quite early on in the transplant programme in the Macra, pioneered by Martelly and Freddie Woods and people like that. And it was a very uncertain trial and error back then. And very, very lucky. I've been successful ever since. And I think you personally saw it. I was only 11, too sick to go over to Great Ormond. She just kind of Boyer's just was never sick.


Me like just kind of and needed a heart. Yeah. It was scary times as well as the more scary when I think back, because I have a daughter who was 11 now myself, and I was 11 when I got you know, at the time, you're always thinking positive. But just when I came back, she was a year was crazy times like.


Yeah, because what your parents went through at that stage, looking at their 11 year old son and the odds were not great, as you said, you're in in Crumlin, if a heart had become available in the UK, too sick to travel, that was the issue.


Too sick to travel? Basically, I think it was the August I started to feel breathless and stuff like that and nobody knew what was wrong. I mean, we just really times a 24 hour bug or something like that. And I went to the doctor and assumed it was asthma or something like that. And then eventually I got so sick I was brought to our lady said on an X-ray. I mean, heart was literally swollen to twice the size it was meant to be.


So then they realised she was cardiomyopathy, it was a viral cardiomyopathy, it's quite common in transplant patients. The genetic version which runs in the family mind, was a virus. And I got to the mater, they done all they could sorry to our ladies. They put me on medication. Sometimes it's reversible and has gone too far. And and they just had me, mother and father were devastated. And those six kids, like, you know, those two younger than me and three older.


So we mother and father was still my kids with work. Me dying in our ladies ladies was a really rough time. But they broke the news to me and me being 11 and positive, I just took it all hard to get the transplant. We'll get it done. And it's a bit of excitement.


It's when I think back to the innocence like, you know, I was looking forward to anyway. Do you remember much of the process itself?


I remember it all. I suppose I look at my daughter, who's 11 now, and I say what she remember when she's older and I remember it all, I suppose such a traumatic thing. You don't forget these things, but I remember slowly getting weaker and weaker at the end of it, just on a trip I couldn't see. I was bedridden the whole time. I was down to four stone. I mean, what I had just left me that day in our ladies and I like me.


I was quick you from your age, me being me, they boosted me trip. I was on a hundred milligrams a day. They boosted the 400. I mean, Paul was there with me and I said to him, I bet you that's the heart a in. And he was had top cop and I could see them all running around the water because of back down. It was a massive deal like, you know, and the nurse came in to me and said, I'm at the heart here.


And at that stage, this was December 17th, 18th, two weeks before I'd gone to visit and wanted to come over to the market to see the consultants on modest nelligan with the man at the time. He's like, Right, Martin? I look at these patients and I met my mother and father and I remember them turning out to be more important than your child will not see the new year. I mean, what it was she was like, how sick is me?


Because, you know, it's hard to really know with so much going on. And he just as a cardiologist to do what he did, they'd be blunt and just say to, look, your son is quite sick. So me counting up the days and you had as an 11 year old out of those 20, 30 days. Sure. It'll be fine, like, you know. What came in and first time I got it like this. Sometimes you hear stories where people, Commander, wasn't much your wait, wait and I'll just look with on so completely forced.


I went over to my army, an 11 year old child arriving in to the big old hospital. This was when it was, you know, the old Parker was real old, big, and me walking in teams around me running around anaesthetises, prepping me for the operation, me all taken and strike me father crime. And I I've met a few patients that were on that ward and I walked in. Only one or two of them had to get a transplant down the line under me, turned around to me.


Father said, I don't know what you're crying for. I don't want going in for the operation.


Look back on it like now.


The aftermath, though, that that was a tough one because it's a huge operation.


Obviously, they have to open you up and even the wound, never mind everything else and the antirejection drugs and all the rest of it and a huge challenge getting better.


A huge challenge. I'm not quite a positive person. I don't have to try to be positive. It's just me. So we always put a positive spin on it. Like, I just really hope with the team in the mirror. And obviously this is probably the point that I really have to thank the family and the donor who donate the heart to such a selfless act to do and save my life and all I can do with thank them so much.


I'm eternally grateful, I think about the donor every day.


But I'm Freddie Woods was actually the surgeon that the only operation at that stage, it was 93. In 92, every operation was done by Freddie Amortise, but they split in 93. They felt they had advanced enough to split. So Freddie was going along with Jemmy Carter. He was on the team. He's there now.


And and like even even the kerogen tomorrow was so second to no, like I heard from the nurses. Now, they got a bit worried about Freddie because he got so attached to me. He kids about my age, you putting up football magazines to meet it, sit there after our. And can you imagine the top heart surgeon in Ireland how busy that man was. And after work every day, he'd come in and sit there for an hour with me and give me magazines and have a chat and really got me through the team and the mother, everyone everyone pulled together and made a sort of a positive experience for me because everyone really pulled together and, you know.


Did you have any setbacks about, you know, antirejection drugs making you sick, or was there any scare afterwards that at the heart might be rejected?


All your criticism for the first for the first couple of years, populars rejection on and off, they'd bring me in and boost me steroid levels. And, you know, as your grown up as a kid to steroids would make your face really, you know, blow it and stuff like that. And she said I couldn't be more positive about my face being loud and actually dying because you never think you're going to die. You're always I was always very positive anyway.


And I had many a setback, but not like not until I had a massive setback two years ago. I go into that in a minute, but not too bad at all. And I really had a normal life as a normal teenager. And my parents never treat me any differently, which subconsciously made me think I was no different. You know, they just they were so busy with kids. And like, I got through school the whole lot, all my friends, like, the only thing that would remind me I had try and stop was to take tablets morning and night, anti rejection type.


I still take them today, but many years ago to the transplant.


What happened till ten years ago, Patrick?


So I'll tell you, I was I was married five years ago to Amanda. We have two kids, which are Tinkerbelle is amazing itself, because if I didn't get the transplant, the kids wouldn't be here. So it's not only saving lives, it's creating lives, donating organs. So we were down in the Gleneagles Hotel where we got married. It was actually on our wedding anniversary three years to the day we got married. I wasn't feeling well for a week or two beforehand.


So it was a Tuesday morning. I'm funny enough, I we were never meant to get down. And normally on a Tuesday, I'd be walking on wigglers, wallpaper and paint. So I would normally be in work early that morning. So I'd be normally behind a desk. I'm the owner in the shop making paint for people and wallpaper and stuff for them. I wasn't them. Well, we were down at the Gleneagles anniversary and I walked up to reception after having breakfast that morning and had a cardiac arrest and dropped dead in the ground.


Well, now this is how lucky this is how lucky I was. I drop dead on the ground. There was a defibrillator six feet from where I was and an off duty nurse in the breakfast room having breakfast.


So it's like, yeah.


Do you buy do you buy lottery tickets every week?


Look, I think I've won the lotto enough, but I think we leave it to someone else. I've got an look for them. Yeah. And again, all they have to do with the Gleneagle because they had a defibrillator there and there was an off to endorse. But then one of the managers, Geraldine, took over CPR. And I obviously remember none of this put me took of two young girls, Lucy and Emily, and mean wife Amanda.


She's been there from the very start with me on that. They were all there witnessing this, getting CPR on a traumatic time. Again, over my head. I woke up a couple of that. I was brought literally immediately. They got me back. Thank God I was brought literally. I woke up roughly three days later back in the market in the ICU. They'd got me up. And again, Dumarsais saved my life second time round. Really the best of care look, I mean, the best of care on their doctors, like Professor Neil and erm Joyce.


These are the ones taken on taken on the medicine from the likes of Freddie Volts and the care they give you in their second to none of them just nurse back to life.


And I was fine. It turned out Professor O'Neill was telling me and it could have been they all Casanova's find this is. Two. So it could have been due to all the years they would have done biopsies, ultimately heart, you know, to check for antirejection and it could form some scar tissue on your heart. So it turned out a beat. We went to one side and did get out of stocks. OK, so there was nothing inside me that so that'll keep you going?


Not not yeah, not not toward which is very positive. Again, I had a pacemaker fitted, but they fit the defibrillator in me and they said it might never happen again. Like I was fit my whole life. I still am playing football or a high level play. Tennis even even got into boxing, which is crazy to think about. And I had a heart transplant. Like what? I'm always busy and like the last couple of years, I was always very, you know, I took over my business and were always very busy and wallpaper and paint.


I was a painter for years. I actually got my degree in engineering in college when, you know, from free from school, but then went on to take over a week. It was very busy at that. And so I was on second. You know, it's only as you get older you realise, jeez, what am I doing here? If I can give back in any way I can. That's why I'm doing the Honda miles and raising awareness for organ donation, because it really needs to get out there because it makes such a difference, you know.




Well, you've certainly alerted all our listeners to your cause because your story is phenomenal. And it's so great to talk to you again after so many years. Patrick, everyone who wants to get involved can go to Mutter Foundation, dot, IHI forward, slash, donate and get involved there.


But Patrick, thank you very, very much for joining us on the programme today. No problem, really. Thanks very much for the opportunity again to get it out there, and I really, really nice to talk to you again after all these years. Again, today, 28 years is not OK.


That would be some doing on my part, I can tell you. Patrick, thank you very much for joining us on the programme.