Miracle toddler Kasey Kelly has finished her life-saving treatment in America in time for her third birthday.
Kasey's mum Michelle (24) told the Herald that the family were taken aback by the amount of support they had received.
To date the Irish public has donated €500,000 and came to the family's rescue when the HSE failed to provide the funds necessary for overseas treatment.
“I want to thank the Irish public,” Michelle said. “Without all the public help we wouldn't be here.”
But Kasey, who is three today, isn't out of the woods yet. She's just left intensive care in a Boston hospital after developing liver disease following a transplant.
She will now need a €100,000 treatment next year to make sure she doesn't relapse.
The toddler has spent the last 21 months fighting for her life in America. “She's spent more time in the US than in Ireland in her short life,” Michelle said.
Michelle's family flew to Boston to be by Kasey's bedside on Christmas Day and as she was sleeping most of the time, her grandad dressed up as Santa to make sure she didn't miss Mr Claus.
Michelle has been living in Boston for two years, just 10 minutes from where her
daughter receives treatment.
“We won't know how successful the treatment is until January but her body has been through so much in the last two years she can't take much more,” her mum said.
The mum and daughter moved to the US when Kasey was 13 months old.
“It's been very stressful,” says Michelle. “But you have to stay positive. My heart breaks for Kasey but I believe in her.”
Kasey hasn't developed like a normal three-year-old.
She can stand but she can't walk on her own, said Michelle and she says a few words like “mama”.
The toddler loves Elmo and the Cookie Monster but her young life has thus far revolved round hospital wards.
The life-changing experience which started when Kasey began vomiting at 10 months has made Michelle very appreciative of life.
“Please God we'll be home by next Christmas – that's the plan – and we hope everyone will still keep helping us,” said Michelle.
www.kare4kasey.com \[Steven Holland\]Facebook: www.facebook.com/kaseykellytrustfund
You can text Kasey to 57802 to give a €3 donation.