Irish Heart and Lung Transplant Association

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General Health

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Una O' Mahony-Transplant Specialist Nurse

I am delighted to have this opportunity to communicate with you and to seek your co-operation in certain matters. I want to re-emphasise your responsibility in acknowledging and appreciating your “New Life” and maintaining a healthy life style.

Blood tests and medication

Never miss a scheduled blood test. These tests are essential to identify problems which may be connected with your rejection and must be corrected immediately. It is your responsibility to contact me the day after the blood test to check if there is any change to your medication. Taking your medication correctly will help you to live a longer and healthier life. Do not cease to take any prescribed drugs or medication without reference to me.  Always know the name and strength of all the drugs and medication you are on.


Remember your new heart is just as prone to blocked arteries and other cholesterol related problems as your old heart was, so please watch what you eat and follow a low fat diet. Follow the guidelines of foods to avoid on the list you were given when you left hospital. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Contact me if you need any guidance in this matter.


Please make a commitment to personal fitness. Your donor and their family deserve no less. Walking is the one exercise you can commit to easily. 20/30 minutes brisk walking a day, 5 days a week will ensure you are maintaining your new heart in good condition and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  If you need any advise following your fitness programme phone Irene Byrne in the Mater Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation Dept. Ph 01-8032600 She will be delighted to help.

Heart transplant and the sun

You should be aware that your immunosuppressant drugs reduces your resistance to the suns ultra rays therefore you should avoid sunbathing particularly between April and October.  If you are exposed to the sun you should wear a very high factor sun block or preferably one described as total sun block. Re-apply sun block after swimming.  Apply total sun block to moles and pigmented skin areas.  People with numerous moles should not sunbathe. If you get sun burned stop further exposure.

Remember the joy of your operation and the spiritual gift you have received.

Remember your Donor and the compassion of their families.

Remember how Surgeons, Doctors, Anaesthetists, Intensive care Nurses, Co-ordinators and everyone in the Mater Hospital rejoiced in your new life.

Please respect their great commitment to you.

Yours most sincerely
Una O’Mahony
Transplant Specialist Nurse.