A Galway man’s health scare, seemingly innocuous at first, ended in a heart transplant.
Owen Trill received a heart transplant at Mater Hospital at the age of 38 after falling ill at work.
“I had just finished work for the weekend and I was really not feeling well. I was very short of breath and it was awful trying to walk up and down the stairs,” he said of his experience.
“I went to see the doctor and when they saw my heartbeat had dropped I was rushed to my local hospital in Galway.”
It wasn’t until he arrived at the hospital that Owen discovered the seriousness of his condition.
“They discovered that I had clots in my lungs and kidneys and could be suffering from multi-organ failure. That’s when they rushed me to Mater.
In the Mater, Owen was told he had a virus in his heart muscle. One that was serious enough that he needed a heart transplant.
He said it was a “real shock” to hear that (understatement) as he was only 38, but also decided he should just keep going.
“The CCU staff and my surgeon, Professor McGuinness, were just amazing. They really took care of me and within weeks I was healthy enough to have a transplant.
A match was found for Owen and the operation was scheduled for 6:30 a.m. A heart transplant can take up to six hours, so it makes sense to start early in the morning.
But of course, you’re under heavy general anesthesia for such a difficult operation, so it wasn’t at 11:20 p.m. the following night that Owen woke up.
“I was so determined to get better and go home. I just wanted to get my life back. My goal was to get out of the hospital on my own, and the day my brother came to pick me up, that was it. is exactly what I did.
“I’m doing great now, I’ve been able to get my life back and get back to what I love, fishing and tying flies.”
Six weeks after getting his new heart, Owen was back, although it took another seven weeks before he could return to fishing.
He is full of praise for the level of care he received during his stay in hospital, giving it squarely credit for his speedy recovery.
“No one else in the world has come back so quickly after a transplant and I attribute that to my determination and the fantastic care I received at Mater, it made all the difference.”