Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

Liver transplant girl 'stable'

Liver transplant teenager Meadhbh McGivern is relatively stable in intensive care after undergoing 12-hour surgery

Liver transplant teenager Meadhbh McGivern is relatively stable in intensive care after undergoing 12-hour surgery, her father has confirmed.

Joe McGivern said medics had warned the operation was very challenging after it lasted several hours longer than had been anticipated. "Meadhbh can be described as relatively stable considering the length of time she was in surgery," he said.

The 14-year-old, of Ballinamore, Leitrim, is being cared for in the intensive care unit at King's College Hospital London and is on a ventilator and heavily sedated.

Consultants will decide over the next 24-48 hours how to reduce medication and whether she can be brought out of intensive care. It is understood the operation at the hospital lasted around 12 hours, about four hours longer than expected by Mr McGivern and his wife Assumpta.

Mr McGivern told RTE Radio: "Five to eight hours is the usual timeframe for that surgery. I suppose really as the time began to wear on we began to get more anxious, as you'd imagine.

"Needless to say all sorts of things are running through your mind but you know that she was in their hands and she was in good hands. Thankfully we have got the outcome that we have always hoped for Meadhbh."

Meadhbh, who missed a liver transplant operation earlier this summer because of botched transport plans, was flown out late on Wednesday night by the Air Corps after being offered a viable organ for the second time in three months.

A spokesman for King's confirmed Meadhbh was in a stable condition in the paediatric intensive care unit.

He said: "As expected, it was a difficult and challenging operation. However the liver has now been transplanted and Meadhbh is out of theatre."

Meadhbh's condition, a progressive liver disease, worsened last week and she was in Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin, for nine days. She missed the offer of a liver transplant in July after a breakdown in communications in arranging rapid air ambulance transport.

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