A distraught mum of twins who were born with a rare breathing condition is relieved that she will experience Christmas with both her daughters.
The mum was stranded in London last night and separated from one of her daughters on Christmas Eve.
Audrey Murnane was due to fly home from Heathrow to Cork last night after her daughters Maya and Zoe underwent surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
But disaster struck for the family when Maya fell ill as they were boarding their flight, and Audrey was left with no choice but to rush Maya to hospital, while allowing Zoe to fly home.
Audrey said today: “The plan, was to fly home from Heathrow to Cork last night, however, just as we were boarding the plane, Maya became very ill.”
“We were asked to disembark the aircraft by the pilot and Aer Lingus staff, for fear that Maya’s condition and illness would worsen inflight, which may have resulted in an emergency landing.”
“Poor Maya worsened considerably after this point and got sick profusely. Needless to say – I was glad that we were in a position to transport Maya to the closest hospital immediately.”
The mum had believed that once Maya was seen by doctors, she would be given the all clear to fly home, but it emerged later that they wouldn't be able to fly home for ten days.
But Ryanair revealed today that it booked the family on a 1.40pm Gatwick to Cork service today.
A Ryanair spokesperson confirmed to independent.ie: “We are happy to be able to help Audrey and Maya get home. We wish the family a very happy Christmas and our very best wishes for 2014.”
The mum had feared earlier this morning: “Unfortunately... I will have to spend Christmas, New Years and days after, in an airport hotel, with Maya unwell and running a high temperature and unable to eat….[separated] from Zoe, who is in Ireland.”
Andrea was without her luggage, clothes for Maya, and basic essentials.
She had said: “My baby Zoe is in a different country to me, after an invasive procedure just five days ago, and I am unable to be there to care for her.”
Audrey is now hoping for the girls’ first “real” Christmas at home.
Maya and Zoe are the only twins in Ireland born with a rare condition that severely affects their breathing – and they underwent surgery for their condition on December 18.
Last year, when Audrey took her newborn twins home for the first time baby Maya turned blue as her trachea only measured 1.1mm in width.
The girls received excellent medical care, great advice and a very thorough report on Zoe and Maya’s current airway state, according to the mum.
“Luckily, after the first 24 hours, the girls both rallied round quite nicely and everything was successfully on track for a return home on time for Christmas. For the girls’ first real Christmas, as they were both very ill last Christmas.”
The mum said a special thank you to all the staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital, including Professor Martin Elliott, Consultant Richard Hewitt and “Dr. Ed and Denise along with the entire Tracheal Team”.