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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019
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Kerry toddler Liam Heffernan making "awesome" recovery from brain surgery in New York

Liam, 2, is the youngest person to ever receive the pioneering treatment which aims to counter the rare neurological disorder he suffers from, Batten’s Disease.

Image: Bee for Battens via Creative Commons

THE TWO-YEAR-OLD Kerry boy who underwent pioneering brain surgery in the US for Batten’s Disease is making an “awesome” recovery, his doctors have said.

Liam Heffernan, of Castledrum, Keel, Co Kerry, underwent surgery two weeks ago at the Weill Cornell University Hospital in New York. He is the youngest person to ever receive the surgery, which involved drilling six small holes in his skull to administer replacement genes.

The surgery aims to counter the rare neurological disorder, which affects a sufferer’s speech and motor skills and can cause seizures and blindness.

The Bee for Battens organisation, set up by Liam’s parents Tony and Mary Heffernan, said in its blog that the young boy’s recovery has been going so well that the family is planning to return to Ireland seven days ahead of schedule on 29 May.

Liam is being monitored daily for any adverse reactions to his treatment, but he was able to leave the hospital two days after surgery to take in some of New York’s sights, such as Times Square.

His surgery took place 15 weeks after his older sister Saoirse, 5, died of the illness.

Read more about Liam Heffernan’s progress on the Bee for Battens site >

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