Philip Watt, Chief Executive, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, making a presentation to mark the 25th anniversary of Brendan’s transplant at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, UK, in 1992
Donegal transplant survivor and health campaigner Brendan McLaughlin will be laid to rest on Thursday.
Tributes have been paid to Mr McLaughlin, Ireland’s longest-surviving lung transplant patient, who passed away on Monday at the Mater Hospital in Dublin.
Mr McLaughlin, 51, had a lung transplant in 1992 and received a new kidney nine years later.
The Stranorlar man was a well-known campaigner on health issues and served as the chair of the Donegal Branch of the Cystic Fibrosis Association. He frequently raised issues with national and local media.
Among the issues he campaigned on was the establishment of a lung transplant unit in Ireland.
Mr McLaughlin was born with cystic fibrosis. He was the first recipient of a lung transplant of a person with cystic fibrosis living in Ireland at a time before the lung transplant programme in Ireland had commenced.
He was also the longest-surviving cystic fibrosis transplant recipient in Ireland, at 26 years post-transplant, and the longest-surviving cystic fibrosis single lung transplant recipient in the world.
He spent nine weeks on a life-support system in the intensive care unit in Blanchardstown while waiting for a donor before he travelled to Newcastle England to undergo the transplant at the Freeman Hospital. The operation was carried out on August 10, 1992. Brendan had spent most of his last years in hospital
Philip Watt, Chief Executive, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, said: “Brendan was a campaigner all of his life and very proud of being from Donegal. He was the leading light in the Cystic Fibrosis Ireland Donegal branch for many years. Brendan was a lifelong campaigner on cystic fibrosis and organ donation, and a strong supporter of Letterkenny General Hospital.
“Brendan campaigned for better cystic fibrosis services and the need for improved transplant services in his native Donegal and at a national level. Brendan became a regular contributor to Highland Radio on everything from social welfare cutbacks to organ donation. We, at Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, wish to extend our sincere sympathy to his family and wide circle of friends.”
Mr McLaughlin was predeceased by his mother Frances who passed away in 2016. His sister Martina, who also had cystic fibrosis, passed away in 2007.
He is survived by his by his partner Martina, his father Seamus, sister Frances, brothers Gerard, Seamus, and Kevin.
His funeral will take place this morning, Thursday, at 11 am at the Church of Mary Immaculate, Stranorlar, with interment afterwards in Drumboe cemetery.