by Sean Paul Curry

This week I travelled two hours on a bus up and down to Belfast for a doctor's appointment which lasted all of three minutes. Afterwards I wasn’t very happy about having to travel that distance for such a short appointment but on my bus journey home I began to think about how lucky I am to be as healthy as I am.

My friend Karen Lyons is thankfully now recovering from a double lung transplant in England. I find her strength in recovery, her sheer positive attitude and will to get better truly inspiring.

I felt embarrassed for a short time when I thought of having complained about how my doctor saw me for three minutes while Karen now physically can't cough and must now train herself to do so. It really puts life into perspective.

No matter how hard you think things are there is always someone worse off.

Even more inspiring is Karen's support for organ donation, something which has saved her life. Even through immense pain and suffering Karen sees the importance of promoting organ donation to give people the gift of life.

I met Karen and her partner Greg a few times before she left for transplant surgery and they are both really nice, genuine people. I don’t think Karen will mind me saying that Greg, in my view, is just as much of an inspiration as she is. He hails from Australia and has been with Karen through thick and thin. I don’t think Karen would be as mentally strong as she is without the support of Greg by her side.

Sometimes we ask ourselves what does it mean to be a man or woman. Greg is a shining example of what a man should be; strong, supportive, caring, a great role model for any young man and a guardian angel for Karen and her family.

To Karen and Greg, I take strength and determination from both your journeys through this incredibly tough journey.

The only way is up and I wish you and your family the happiest of futures together.