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Liver transplant mum's plea to help save her life by staying at home


Aislinn Coyle-Little with her husband Jonathan and son Jericho

Aislinn Coyle-Little with her husband Jonathan and son Jericho

Aislinn Coyle-Little with her husband Jonathan and son Jericho

A 'miracle mum' has marked the 12th anniversary of a life-saving operation to give her a new liver with a passionate plea to people in Northern Ireland to stay at home this Easter.

Aislinn Coyle-Little, who lives near Bushmills, echoed police calls for people to resist the temptation to visit north coast beauty spots this weekend.

She slammed anyone ignoring government restrictions as "crazy and irresponsible".

She said: "I usually post messages on my 'liver-versary' as I call it to thank my donor's family for my life and for more people to become organ donors. But this year I've begged people to follow the government guidelines which could save my life."

In 2008 doctors feared Aislinn, who had a rare liver condition together with gall bladder and pancreas problems from her teens, could die on her honeymoon in Florida after she fell gravely ill.

She had to cut short her dream American trip to return to England with new husband Jonathan as medics raced against time to find her a new liver.

Eventually a donor was found and Aislinn underwent her transplant in the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead. Six years later her joy was complete after she gave birth to a son, Jericho.

Aislinn, who is on furlough from her National Trust job as assistant retail manager at the Giant's Causeway visitor centre, said she has to go to extraordinary lengths to protect herself and her family from Covid-19.

She added: "I've had to shield myself in the house even before the lockdown started. I'm at high risk because I've had a solid organ transplant and I'm immunosuppressed, which basically means that my immune system is a lot less than a normal person's would be. In order that my body didn't reject the new organ, the immune response within my body was more or less knocked down.

"The good part of that is that I can keep an organ which isn't mine. The bad part of it is that I'm open to a lot more viruses because my body doesn't have the same fighting capability. An ordinary cold or flu can knock me for six but coronavirus would have a bigger percentage chance of killing me."

In her online message Aislinn wrote: "As someone who is immunosuppressed and at high risk, I ask anyone who reads this, stay at home please. Reduce the chance of me and others like me having a reduced lifespan from Covid-19. My family and I will do everything we can to protect me, but please also do your bit."

Aislinn has been horrified to read news as she self-isolates that some people in Northern Ireland have been ignoring the warnings to stay at home.

She added: "I find it hard to understand what it is that people don't fathom about the guidelines. It's almost as if they think: 'I'm alright Jack and sod the rest of you'."

Aislinn has pleaded in particular with people who have second homes on the north coast to stay away. "There seems to be a feeling that by coming up here people will have less chance of getting the virus," she added.

"But nowhere is safe and Covid-19 is already having a huge impact on local services like shops who have run out of delivery slots.

"They don't need more people to deal with."

Belfast Telegraph