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Dublin: 2 °C Friday 15 November, 2019
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Meadhbh McGivern in a 'relatively stable' condition after 14 hour surgery

The Leitrim teenager was flown to London in the government Lear jet on Wednesday night after a donor organ became available.

Meadhbh was brought to London in the government Lear jet
Meadhbh was brought to London in the government Lear jet
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

MEADHBH MCGIVERN, the Leitrim teenager who missed out on a liver transplant two months ago is in a stable condition after finally undergoing a 14-hour life-saving surgery in London.

Meadhbh’s father Joe has told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme that she is in intensive care in a “relatively stable” condition. Meadhbh is sedated and intubated and could remain like that for more than 24 hours.

The family travelled from their home in Leitrim on Wednesday evening after receiving word that a donor liver had become available. They arrived at Baldonnel with a garda escort in the early hours of Thursday morning.

They travelled to London in the government Lear jet and Meadhbh was in surgery in King’s Hospital in London by 7am.

Joe McGivern has said that the plans this time were “seamless”, describing the transport operation as “precision engineering”. Meadhbh had missed out on the opportunity for a liver transplant in early July when air transport could not be arranged in time.

This time however, there was an aircraft waiting for her, with back up pilots on standby.

Meadhbh’s father said she was delighted when she heard the donor liver had become available but was apprehensive until they were actually airborne. He said there was “a sigh of relief once we were flying out over Dublin Bay”.

Quality of life

Meadhbh’s quaility of life over the past few months has been described as ‘non-existent’. She’s been in a lot of pain and hasn’t been at school since the end of last January.

Her father has said that this transplant should allow her to “make up what she’s missed out on in the short life she’s had so far”.

Doctors at King’s Hospital in London have said that they’re happy with how the surgery went. Meadhbh’s parents were provided with hourly updates throughout the 14-hour operation and Joe McGivern said that as time began to wear on they began to get more anxious, as the usual time frame for a surgery of this kind is between five and eight hours.

Meadhbh will now remain under close observation in the paediatric intensive care unit.

More: Meadhbh McGivern out of surgery after liver transplant>

More: Health Minister launches inquiry into missed transplant op>

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Emer McLysaght

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