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Dublin: 10 °C Sunday 17 February, 2019
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18-week-old baby Jessica still has smiles for her family as she waits for a heart transplant

Her grandmother wants to raise awareness about organ donation.

shutterstock_1026208-1-390x285 Source: Shutterstock

It’s just a case of waiting and hoping and praying, in time her heart will deteriorate and then there is a possibility she will eventually die.

The words of the grandmother of 18-week-old Jessica who is on a ventilator machine waiting for a heart transplant.

She was born on November 18 at Cavan hospital and at first it was believed that she just had a heart murmur.

Her grandmother, Sarah McMahon told TheJournal.ie that she was with her daughter Elaine when they got the news that baby Jessica needed a heart transplant after tests at Crumlin hospital.

She was diagnosed with severe hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

“I was with my daughter when she got the news. We were just devastated. It has been a complete shock.”

She explained how Jessica is on a heart transplant list and that all they can do now is wait.

She’s adorable, she has a beautiful smile. She’s full of smiles for us on her good days.

“The surgery has to be carried out in London as they don’t do heart transplants for babies in Ireland.”

Speaking about her daughter Elaine, Sarah said, “She’s strong, she’s remarkable and she has got every believe and hope.

Elaine has stayed in hospital with her daughter Jessica for the past 13 weeks.

Sarah says baby Jessica “has the will and determination to live and she’s battling and struggling all the time”.

She added how Jessica’s big brother Daniel – who’s three – misses his Mammy and knows that something isn’t quite right:

He’d say where’s mummy and the baby, the baby’s sick. 

Sarah wants to spread the word about the importance of organ donation so that Jessica and other babies, children and adults lives might be saved through organ donation.

“I’m doing my best to campaign for organ donor awareness and particularly in babies, most newborn babies thankfully live so there are very few organs available.”

Want to become an organ donor? Here’s how:

You can download the app or request a card on the Irish Kidney Foundation’s website.

Alternatively, email donor@ika.ie; free-text DONOR to 50050; call 1890 543639 or write to: Freepost, Donor House, Irish Kidney Association, Park West, Dublin 12.

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