Belfast Telegraph

Family fear repeat transfer problem

The McGivern family remain unconvinced there will not be a repeat of failures which forced their sick daughter to miss a vital life changing transplant, they have said.

A private air ambulance company is on standby to take Meadhbh to London in the event a second donor is found and should state agencies botch a second attempt to secure a flight.

AeroMedevac Ireland, based at Weston aerodrome in west Dublin and launched by Health Minister Dr James Reilly in March, provided a back-up plan in the days after Meadhbh narrowly missed out on the surgery.

Meadhbh's father Joe McGivern said he is in shock at the breakdown in communications uncovered by a health watchdog despite 76 phone calls between agencies on the night of July 2 to try to secure a flight to London.

"We did not think that what happened on the night could have got any more shocking but this puts the tin hat on it," he said.

"Everybody knew what to do but they just ran around in circles. It's very easy to point the finger of blame but they did their best and we will have to accept that.

"The bottom line is that Meadhbh is still waiting. There's no point in getting angry, it will only eat us up and we've another 17-year-old daughter."

Mr McGivern explained his decision for contacting AeroMedevac and arranging the back-up: "Now, there's always that little bit of doubt in the back of our mind."

Meadhbh has progressive liver disease and is still waiting for a suitable donor. She is now in her second year on the waiting list and doctors refuse to make any estimates on the possibility of finding a new liver.

Mr McGivern said according to medics his daughter holds the dreaded record of the longest paediatric wait for surgery of its kind.

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