Tina contracted double pneumonia in November 2022. She was struggling to battle the condition and needed the support of the ECMO team from the Mater Public Hospital to turn the corner.
“I was being treated in University Hospital Limerick in November 2022, having contracted double pneumonia. It was an air borne bacterial pneumonia and initially I didn’t feel too unwell. On the 18th of November my family was advised that I was struggling and that my best possible chance of recovery was to connect to an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine, which was in the Mater Hospital in Dublin. The machine is used in critical care situations, when your heart and lungs need help so that you can heal.
They was no way I could be transferred as I was. So, the expert ECMO team from the Mater travelled down with the machine, connected me and transported me to Dublin. During this stage of the process, my family were kept fully informed of everything that might happen.
I ended up spending fourteen days under the care of the team at the Mater. Although I cannot remember any of it, listening now to my family and friends I know I was in the best possible hands. My husband rang every morning at 6am and was always reassured of my progress. Family and friends were all accommodated within hospital guidelines, all rostered by my amazing daughter…who at the beginning of my ECMO journey wasn’t sure if I would come home.
I do know that without the ECMO machine and the expert team at the Mater who operate it, I would not be writing this. I am still recuperating at home but am expected to make a full recovery. Hopefully when I am back to full health I will be able to do a fundraiser of my own, so that I can help the Mater Foundation fund even more ECMO support at the hospital.
So, thank you for your care, for looking after me, my family and my friends… sometimes words are never enough”.
Tina, Annacotty, Co Limerick