29 May 2022

Leitrim girl to undergo life-changing surgery this weekend

Leitrim girl to undergo life-changing surgery this weekend

Rachel Mallon in the sirport flying to London for her surgery

The prayers and best wishes of the Leitrim public are with 13-year-old Rachel Mallon who has travelled to London for life-changing spinal surgery this coming Saturday.

Rachel and her mother Edel flew out from Dublin last Monday ahead of the seven hour long surgery in St George's Hospital.
All week the public's imagination has been captured by the little girl with a beautiful smile and donations poured in to assist her and her family meet the costs of the surgery and her post operative care.

A gofundme page was established and it raised almost €70,000 in just one week. Rachel's dad Brian, who hopes to fly over on Friday or Saturday, said the family are “overwhelmed by the generosity of people”.
He said, however, Rachel is “very nervous” ahead of the upcoming surgery.

Rachel Mallon was diagnosed with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis on February 8. On that day Rachel's life changed completely as she became aware that she would need major spinal fusion surgery from the middle of her back to her pelvis.

Rachel is to undergo a spinal correction surgery technique called VBT (Vertebral Body Tethering). This involves placing a screw in each vertebrae and attaching a cord to the screws. The cord is pulled tight straightening the spine while maintaining the ability to bend and move freely.
The surgery is expected to last seven hours after which Rachel will spend a week in hospital. She will then spend a further week in a hotel near the hospital which she will visit regularly for monitoring and dressings.

She is expected to return home by boat on Saturday, May 21, and no doubt a large crowd of family and friends will be present to welcome her back.
The Mallon family are so appreciative of all the support they have received in recent days and the kindness of people.

As well as the gofundmepage, there have been other fundraisers, for example, the Leitrim girls Féile competition last Saturday in Pairc Sean MacDiarmada held a very successful cake sale.
There have been other presentations from local clubs and schools for which the Mallon family are very thankful.

In a message from the family, they thanked everyone who supported Rachel's surgery fundraiser. “We thank you on behalf of Rachel for all your kind and generous donations from the bottom of our hearts. We have been overwhelmed by the support shown to Rachel and our family. Sincerest thanks to you all and keep us in your prayers for May 7.”

Over €69,000 was raised on the gofundmepage. It has now closed for donations, you can keep up to date with Rachel's journey on 

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