Meadhbh recovering well after 14 hour operation

Meadhbh McGivern’s recovery is “on schedule” and she is in “good spirits” at Kings College Hospital in London after almost 14 hours of a liver transplant operation last Thursday.

Meadhbh McGivern’s recovery is “on schedule” and she is in “good spirits” at Kings College Hospital in London after almost 14 hours of a liver transplant operation last Thursday.

Meadhbh’s father Joe told the Leitrim Observer Tuesday morning that Meadhbh had “her best night so far” on Monday. He said she is “more relaxed” and is on “pain management.” Despite the severe pain and trauma of the operation, Joe said Meadhbh is in “good spirits.”

Last Wednesday night, September 14 the McGivern family received the call that a suitable liver was available for Meadhbh in King’s Hopsital London. The family put their plan into action, they received a Garda escort up to Baldonnell and then flew Air Corps Lear jet to Heathrow. The flight to London only took approx 45 minutes. They arrived at the hospital around 2.30am and Meadhbh was prepared from 4am for surgery at 7am.

Joe McGivern was delighted the transport to London was “seamless” following the failure of a co-ordinated state transport plan which resulted in Meadhbh missing her transplant window in July.

The transplant operation went on longer than expected, Meadhbh was 14 hours in the operating theatre. Meadhbh had to undergo many transfusions and Joe said she had been “critical on a few occasions.” The 14 hours in theatre were “horrendous” for Joe and Assumpta McGivern, Joe said it was the longest day of their lives.

On Friday, Meadhbh woke up and spoke to her parents, she was taken off the ventilator. Joe and Assumpta are keeping a bedside vigil, while plans have been made for her sister Ciara to visit shortly. Joe said Meadhbh could “reject the liver at any time” but at the moment everything is going well.

Liver transplant patients are usually released from King Hospital 3-6 weeks after operation. The normal procedure for these cases is that patients make their way back home on a commercial flight.

To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.