Page last updated at 05:39 GMT, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 06:39 UK

Marathon man Ciaran's new lease of life

Will Leitch
BBC reporter

Marathon runners
The marathon attracts relay teams, walkers and wheelchair competitors

A year ago, 23-year-old Ciaran Murphy from Newtownabbey just about managed to make it to the start of the Belfast marathon - in time to see everyone else set off.

This year, after a life-saving operation, he is going to be running one of the relay legs himself.

Ciaran has cystic fibrosis - a common disease of the lung and digestive system.

But now he has had a double lung transplant and is in training for Monday's run.

Last year Ciaran was desperately ill, on 24-hour oxygen and waiting for a double lung transplant.

Ciaran started the runners in last year's Belfast City Marathon Fun Run alongside the Lord Mayor of Belfast and the very next day he got the call he had been waiting for - a new set of lungs was available.

He intends joining family and friends as part of a relay team.

"Thinking back to this time last year and watching my family and friends crossing the finish line, I thought I would never get the chance to do it myself," he said.

"Now, here I am nearly 12 months to the day later and getting ready to cross that finish line thanks to my new lungs.

"My story highlights the success of organ donation and how it's given me a new lease of life, this is my first step in putting these new lungs to full use.

"This is all down to that person or family donating their organs. I couldn't do this nor would I be here without someone making that decision to donate their organs after their death."



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