Belfast Telegraph

Liver transplant girl 'doing well'

A teenager who missed a liver transplant operation earlier this summer because of botched transport plans is undergoing surgery in London.

Meadhbh McGivern, 14, was flown out in the middle of the night by the Air Corps after being offered a viable organ for the second time in three months.

Her father, Joe, confirmed she has been in theatre for several hours at King's College Hospital undergoing surgery which could last up to eight hours.

"She's doing well so far," Mr McGivern said.

Meadhbh's condition, a progressive liver disease, worsened last week and she was in Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin, for nine days.

The family, from Ballinamore, Leitrim, were notified about the viable organ shortly after 10pm on Wednesday and were transferred to London Heathrow on a Learjet, arriving at King's at 1.30am on Thursday.

Mr McGivern, who is waiting at the hospital with his wife Assumpta, said: "When the call came through last night we thought 'is it for real?'. Meadhbh was delighted and overjoyed. Until she got on the plane she was not really believing that she'd make it. Once we were in the air then she knew."

If the transplant is successful, Meadhbh will remain in King's for up to six weeks.

The Defence Force said the Air Corps mission bringing Meadhbh to London was the second carried out on Wednesday night. A private air ambulance company, AeroMedevac Ireland, remained on standby in Dublin in case attempts to secure a flight with the Air Corps failed.

Meadhbh missed the offer of a liver transplant in July after a breakdown in communications in arranging rapid air ambulance transport.

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