New-lungs recipient Peter Moore dies

Peter Moore after completing his epic 7 km swim in a freezing Sundays River
Peter Moore after completing his epic 7 km swim in a freezing Sundays River
Image: Supplied

On the day he planned to climb seven flights of stairs to create awareness for organ donation, lung transplant recipient Peter Moore died at Groote Schuur Hospital after he picked up an infection.

The death of the former navy marine – described as a hero for his work to promote organ donation – sent shock waves through his vast group of friends, who hailed his positivity, big heart and relentless belief that all would work out.

Fellow marine and friend Gerald Males paid tribute to Moore on Monday.

“You stood your ground. You stood tall. You stood for everything I call brave.

“I will stand to salute your courage. I will stand by your family if they need me.

“You were not just my brother, you were my friend. RIP marine, your duty is done.”

Moore, 54, who lived in Amsterdamhoek, only had 20% of his lung capacity left when he received a double lung transplant in November.

He was the ninth patient to receive new lungs since the transplant programme was started at Groote Schuur Hospital in November 2017.

He suffered irreparable damage to his lungs 20 years ago when he inhaled chlorine gas while rescuing children from a gym creche in Sandton and was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

After he made it onto the transplant list, Moore said he had decided to dedicate the rest of his life to advocating to get more organ donors on the list – even vowing to do an Ironman once he had received his new lungs.

While waiting for new lungs, he completed the SPAR River Mile and did a 7km swim in the icy Sundays River in July to raise awareness for organ donation.

He also started an organisation, Just Breathe Marine, to support others with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Tell, an organisation promoting organ donation awareness, said SA had lost a hero.

“RIP Peter Moore. You cared so much for others, you were passionate about raising awareness. You were a positive soul and super encouraging when we started Tell. You will be sorely missed,” it said.

“Our thoughts are with his friends and family [and] the medical staff who treated him.”

His physiotherapist, Marchelle Lake, said she was heartbroken.

“Peter will always be remembered as the man of steel with the most generous heart.

“He did some crazy things to help raise awareness around organ donation and inspired so many people,” Lake said. “Peter had a heart of gold.” Veterans of the 1980 to 1990 SA Marines Corps said Moore was a hero.

“Peter recently had a double lung transplant and things were looking good for him until he contracted an infection on Tuesday.

“During his battle, Peter became a great motivator for other patients with the disease, a campaigner for awareness of the disease and for organ donation,” it said.

“His drive to push himself to the limit saw him swim a longdistance river swim event in the Eastern Cape and a lifestyle that focused on strength and fitness.

“His survival was so close, he could touch it. We could see it. But it was not to be.

“Despite the loss, we can all take heart from the fight this man had put up, not only for himself, but also for others.

“Breathe deeply now, marine and enjoy, we’ll take over the watch.”

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