A Tribute to Patrick O’Sullivan

Patrick O’Sullivan was born in the County of Clare in 1947. He had three elder siblings, Betty, Martha and John.

He grew up at the family house in Killaloe, Co Clare, until he was sadly orphaned at 12. He then finished his studies and went to England aged 17.

It was here that he met his future wife, Marianne. Some years later, their first daughter Michelle was born, followed some six years later by the arrival of their second Daughter, Adele.

Family life was very important to Patrick and many summer Sundays were spent in Saltdean in Sussex.

Patrick had many proud days in his life and some of the proudest were the marriage of his daughter Michelle to Malcolm, topped some six years later by the arrival of his only grandchild, Katie, who at 6lb 2oz fitted neatly into Patrick’s hand!

In 2007, Patrick’s brother John sadly died of Pulmonary Fibrosing Alveosis, which at the time we were led to believe was a non-hereditary disease of the lungs. At the beginning of 2010, Patrick was becoming shorter of breath and several tests later he was told he needed a heart operation. Patrick went through this operation in March 2011, but was still short of breath.

In June 2011, a CT scan showed that Patrick had a condition called Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. We found out that this was formerly known as Pulmonary Fibrosing Alveosis, but as it’s cause is unknown (hence the term ‘idiopathic’) and as the inflammation treatments were not always effective, the inflammation was brought into question and the name was changed to  Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Patrick was given 18-36 months to live with this condition.

Patrick tried to research this disease and had made contact with Toby Maher, a Professor at the Royal Brompton Hospital, to look into doing a drugs trial. Patrick believed that this might not necessarily help him, but would help others in the future with this disease. In early December, Patrick went to meet Toby Maher and they discussed doing a drugs trial in January 2012.

Unfortunately, less than one week later, Patrick was taken into hospital with pneumonia. During the three weeks that Patrick spent in hospital, he met many doctors who had really only seemed to come across one other case of this disease and it really highlighted how much research is needed into this.

Sadly, Patrick died on 2nd January 2012.

We decided to set up the Just Giving page to Breathing Matters to ensure that research does carry on for future sufferers of this. We also asked attendees of the funeral not to give flowers, but to make a donation in Patrick’s name, so that the money which would have been spent can go to a good cause.

The family has been amazed by the amount raised in just ten days and have found this and the messages on the page a great strength. 

If you would like to support this great cause, visit our donation page on http://www.justgiving.com/Patrick-OSullivan

2 thoughts on "A Tribute to Patrick O’Sullivan"

  1. I am so sorry for the passing of Patrick. The above tribute is really moving, particularly of Patrick’s desire to help others in the face of a life-threatening illness. My thoughts are with the whole family.

  2. What a fitting and lovely tribute to a man generous and thinking of others to the end. I felt so sad for this child orphaned at 12 but so happy that he met Marianne. My thoughts are with you all.

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