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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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'She is a true warrior': Campaign to raise funds for Irish woman who needs transplant in UK

Sinead Lowndes was diagnosed with a rare liver condition just six weeks before she was due to get married.

A FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN has been launched to support an Irish woman who has to move with her family to the UK for a year to receive treatment.

Mother-of-one Sinéad Lowndes, who got married just four weeks ago, was recently diagnosed with a rare liver condition.

She will likely need a liver transplant and partial bowel transplant and, due to the complex nature of the surgery, it cannot be done in Ireland. 

Her best friend Michelle Ross has launched a campaign to provide financial support to Sinéad, her husband Stuart and their baby daughter Paige over the year they are living in England. 

She described her friend as “a true warrior” and “a generous, caring, loving girl with a heart of gold”.

She is always the first to reach out to help others in a time of need.

In November last year, just six weeks before she and Stuart were due to get married, the 29-year-old woman was hospitalised. Doctors told her she had a rare liver condition named Budd Chiari Syndrome which affects one in a million adults.

She was told that she had blood clots both inside and outside of her liver and that she would need a transplant. This meant the couple had to postpone their wedding until February when she was out of hospital. 

Ross said the couple’s wedding was “the most magical day for all involved”. 

However four weeks later, the Dublin woman became ill again and she was told in hospital that she now had a blood clot in her bowel. 

“She’s going to have to go to Cambridge either on Monday or Tuesday next week,” Ross told TheJournal.ie. “She was only told earlier this week that she has to go so they have to organise flights and accommodation and everything.”

Her husband will travel over with her initially and once he finds accommodation Sinead’s mother will follow with their daughter Paige. 

It’s looking like she will probably be waiting two months in hospital there before organs become available and then she will be in hospital up to three months after the transplant. Then she will have to remain for a further six to nine months after that.

The majority of the medical costs will be covered by the HSE but both Sinéad and Stuart will have to leave their jobs in Ireland for a year and cover living expenses in England. 

Ross said her friends and family think “money shouldn’t be something they have to worry about at this time”. 

She’s been up and down but overall Sinead’s had a great attitude towards it, everyone feels her mind is in a good place. She is absolutely terrified obviously but she’s forward-thinking. 
She’s saying things like ‘in 2020 I’ll be back on my feet’ and she has loads of plans for the future so that’s great. 

Her brother Paul Hosford said his sister has “not once complained about the unfairness of having to postpone her wedding or move her family to a foreign country”.

On the fundraising page, Sinéad’s family and friends asked people to “donate what you can to help the bravest, strongest, kindest and most amazing mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin and friend through the toughest of times”.

They said any money raised that the couple doesn’t need will be donated to the charitable wings of St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

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