Heartfelt thanks as Ryan hopes for a bright future
Dungiven heart transplant teen Ryan O’Connor has described his hopes for the future after spending 20 weeks in hospital away from his family and friends.
The brave 18-year-old has won the hearts of people from around the country, and further afield, after undergoing the life changing operation last November.
Ryan flew into Belfast last night from Newcastle after saying an emotional goodbye to staff at Freeman Hospital, who he described as “amazing”.
“I’m a bit nervous but happy, after 20 weeks in hospital,” Ryan told the ‘Journal’ yesterday, speaking publicly for the first time after his transplant.
“I’m just amazed at how far I’ve come and it’s all thanks to the staff at Freeman Hospital - the doctors, the nurses, the surgeons - everyone.
“They’ve been brilliant. I don’t know how to put it into worlds, really.”
Ryan, who tragically lost his legs after complications following the transplant, said the past few months had been “full of ups and downs, but hopefully the future will be bright”.
Ryan said he was overwhelmed by the huge outpouring of support from people, and strangers.
“I’ve seen the newspapers and all the people who have been supporting me and it’s amazing. I’d like to thank everyone,” he said.
Ryan was due home with his parents, Donna and Declan last night where he was greeted by a bus load of cheering cousins and other relatives at the airport.
Ryan said what he was most looking forward to was seeing his siblings.
“I haven’t seen them in a while,” he said, ackowledging he has a lengthy rehabilitation ahead of him, but adding: “I’m looking forward to a different life, a new start.”
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Weather for Derry
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: South west