Wednesday 28 September 2016

Brave baby Jessica gets the gift of a new heart - thanks to transplant

Claire McCormack

Published 03/04/2016 | 02:30

HEARTFELT THANKS: Elaine McMahon with her daughter Jessica, who is recovering well
HEARTFELT THANKS: Elaine McMahon with her daughter Jessica, who is recovering well

For the first eight months of her life, brave baby Jessica was on life support in the intensive-care unit - teetering between life and death. Then came the call that saved her life.

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Mum and dad, Elaine McMahon (25) and Stephen Hall (26), received word that a new heart had been found for the gravely ill infant at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. Jessica is thankfully recovering well.

Elaine and Stephen, from Co Monaghan, had no idea their world would be turned completely upside down when their second child was born with a suspected heart murmur in November 2014.

However, after just three weeks, Jessica was diagnosed with two serious heart conditions and was faced with the reality that her only chance for survival was a heart transplant.

"We were devastated and in shock. It was a nightmare. Our lives were thrown into disarray, little did we know what was ahead of us," said Elaine.

Baby Jessica battled through a series of serious complications and viruses - including collapsed lungs and cardiac arrest, where she was put on life support at Crumlin Children's Hospital.

The family are speaking out to highlight organ donation during Organ Donor Awareness Week, which starts this weekend and runs until April 9.

Sunday Independent

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