Irish Heart and Lung Transplant Association

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Ernesto Antonio completes the Dublin Marathon in Memory of his Donor

Fifteen years on from his heart transplant, Ernesto Antonio ran the Dublin City Marathon in memory of his Donor who gave him the gift of life.     Ernesto is a very keen and very fit sportsman.   He has a large tally of medals to his name from taking part for the Irish Team in the European Heart and Lung Transplant Games over the years.  
Congratulations on a fantastic achievement - All in the IHLTA are all very proud of you Ernesto.  

Read Ernestos story.

Celebrating15 years since receiving his life saving heart transplant, Ernesto Antonio took part in this year’s Dublin City Marathon proudly displaying the very personal sentiment “in memory of my donor”.
Since his transplant at the Mater Hospital Dublin in 1999 Ernesto has undertaken a multitude of huge physical challenges on land and in water across Europe and he has also climbed Kilimanjaro to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation. In 2009 when he participated in the Dublin City Marathon he broke a world time record for a heart transplant recipient. Cheering on his success as he crossed the line at this year's marathon, was his wife Kate and daughter Isabella as well as his sister and brother and nieces from Galway.
Ernesto from Bushy Park, in Galway and now living in Essex explained, "from having barely 15 hours to live I have had 15 amazing years thanks to my donor and their family and I hope it will encourage others to carry a donor card so that more people can also receive the gift of life”.

“Since my transplant fifteen years ago I have done numerous half marathons and triathlons, I did the Ironman 70.3 in my native Galway, I’ve swam the English Channel in a relay, swam across Galway Bay, cycled Lands End to John O’Groats, cycled London to Paris, climbed Kilimanjaro, raced across Scotland in two days and represented Ireland at the European Heart and Lung Transplant Games, and at the Transplant Games in Lithuania this year I won a Silver and 5 Gold medals. My donor's heart has made all of this possible. My aim in undertaking all these challenges is always to create awareness and promote organ donation awareness".

Ernesto now works as a theatre charge nurse in Essex, England which sometimes involves emergency surgery and brings him in contact with transplant coordinators for organ retrieval.  Ernesto recalls having been at death’s door in 1999 and says “I remember desperately hoping for a heart transplant in time for my daughter Isabella’s sixth birthday.  It came a week later. She is now 21 and attending university. It is thanks to my donor that I have seen her grown up". This will not be  Ernesto’s first time to take part in the Dublin Marathon as his first outing was in 2006 (see his account in a link below) and he  broke a world time record for a heart transplant recipient in Dublin in 2009 with a time of 3.45. "I’m a little older now and care less about my finishing time and simply enjoy being able to take part", said Ernesto.

Upcoming Events

Annual Mass of Remembrance and Thanksgiving

Saturday 21st February 2015   - 12 noon in the Chapel, Mater Hospital.

Annual General Meeting

Saturday 25th April 2015 - 12 noon, Pillar Room, Mater Hospital.

Womens Mini Marathon Dublin-  join team IHLTA

Monday 1st June 2015  - Cork City Marathon, half marathon or relay (same date 1st June 2015)

European Heart and Lung Transplant Championships - Lithuania

Congratulations to the nine Athletes who represented Ireland at the European Heart and Lung Transplant Championships in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Between them they won six Gold Medals, ten Silver Medals and eight Bronze Medals.   A real tribute to their Donors and all Donors.

Ladies Mini Marathon 2014 - Thank You!


A big thank you to all the ladies who did the Flora Women's Mini Marathon for us last Monday.   This year we had our biggest group ever out there walking, jogging and running for the Irish Heart and Lung Transplant Association, creating donor awareness and making a difference.   In the sea of 40,000 teeshirts for lots of different charities it was fantastic to sometimes come across some other IHLTA ones on the way around!    Here are a few of the photos -  Well done to everyone! 


"The IHLTA have now registered with my and the link for this is as follows:-   

This will make donating and fund raising so much easier.   So if you are participating in the mini marathon or organising a fundraising event like an afternoon tea party, cycle,  coffee morning or donating to the IHLTA instead of gifts for occasions, it is now very simple to create your own fundraising page and nominate the IHLTA as your Chosen Charity.   
My is an excellent website with clear illustrations and a helpline for any queries.

Circle of Life Garden of Commemoration and Thanksgiving

The Circle of Life Garden of Commemoration and Thanksgiving in Salthill in Galway officially opened on Tuesday 6th May 2014.   Our congratulations to Martina and Denis whose only son Eamon  an Organ Donor, was the inspiration for this beautiful Garden commemorating Organ Donors from all over the world.   They had an amazing team of people working along side them and they should be extremely proud of what they have achieved.  You can read all about it on their website   but we would urge you to visit and see it for yourselves.