It was the call that the McGivern family had waited over a year for but finally, last night (Wednesday, September 14), they finally heard the news, their beloved 14-year-old daughter Meadhbh was getting her life-saving liver transplant.
Meadhbh’s story made national headlines in July when she missed out on a transplant in because there was no service available to get her there on time.
Fourteen-year-old Meadhbh and her family were flown to England last night by the Air Corps. The operation began at 7am this morning and it is expected to take somewhere between five to eight hours.
For Meadhbh and her family this call could not have come sooner. She was only released from hospital days ago after spending over a week on a morphine drip for the extreme pain her condition causes her. The brave 14-year-old has also had to stay home from school because her condition, with her since birth, makes her very susceptible to infection and leaves her very tired and weak.
A HIQA report into the circumstances of Meadhbh’s aborted transplant, published last month, criticised the fact that there was no single authority in Ireland tasked with organising emergency air transport for those who may need it.
Now, more than two months on from the scandal, the Department of Health have said a “draft implementation plan” for the setting up of a national centre to co-ordinate all ground and air travel for transplant recipients was submitted to HIQA last Friday for review. However, the department did not provide a timeframe as to when the centre would be up and running.