A BRAVE little girl who is battling a rare form of cancer has been released from hospital after a "minor miracle" meant she did not have to undergo an aggressive and painful operation.
Lily-Mae Morrison (4) has been allowed to return home to Claregalway, Co Galway, much to the delight of her parents and younger brother Evan.
She suffers from neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer, which affects just one in 100,000 children in Ireland, with only a 30pc to 40pc chance of survival.
A charity version of the Elton John song 'Tiny Dancer' is topping the Irish charts to raise money for her treatment.
Lily-Mae was hospitalised on November 25 and underwent surgery to remove seven tumours. She had been expected to remain in hospital for 10 weeks but has been given a break after the success of a stem cell harvesting procedure.
Her mother, Judith Sibley, said: "You can only do this procedure over three days. After the first two days, we only had half of what we needed. I didn't think we had any hope of getting what we needed and Lily-Mae would have still needed surgery. It would have caused her a lot of pain.
"But we collected more on the third day than the first two put together. It's somewhat of a miracle."
The family are now hopeful that Lily-Mae might be allowed to remain at home for Christmas.
Earlier this month, the little girl had to be discharged from Crumlin because there was no bed available. The family had to return home on Saturday, December 1, and return in the early hours of Monday to begin Lily-Mae's stem cell treatment.
The family are now waiting for an isolation bed so Lily-Mae can begin six weeks of stem cell treatment, followed by six weeks of radiotheraphy and then immunotherapy for six months.
The Sunni Mae Trust, which is raising funds for Lily-Mae, also received a boost of €5,000 after Ladbrokes paid out early on the song being Ireland's number one this Christmas.