Sunday 4 December 2016

Surgery hope for twin who can't eat or drink

Toddler Elie faces coma in bid to grow oesophagus

Lynne Kelleher

Published 27/10/2011 | 05:00

Elie pictured
with her twin sister Emie at
their Dublin home
Elie pictured with her twin sister Emie at their Dublin home
Elie pictured with her twin sister Emie at their Dublin home

A TWIN girl will go into induced coma for more than three weeks for ground-breaking procedure to grow a new oesophagus.

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Toddler Elie Madden spends most of her time beaming, but when she does become distressed, her parents can't hear her cries as she was born without a gullet. She cannot eat or swallow and her airways constantly have to be cleared with the aid of two life-saving suction machines.

Now her parents, Estie and Eddie, are preparing for a daunting operation, which will put the one-year-old into an induced coma for at least three weeks, so doctors can perform a procedure to stimulate growing a new oesophagus.

Her parents say she is amazingly good-humoured, despite enduring two heart operations and being constantly attached to tubes to help her breathe.

Elie, who has constant care at her Dublin home, is a bundle of fun and loves rolling around with her twin sister Emie.

When she was born by emergency Caesarean section along with twin Emie, she was diagnosed with severe tracheomalacia and oesophageal atresia and rushed for heart surgery when she was barely a day old.

But her parents, who appeared yesterday on TV3's 'Morning Show', are hoping they will be able to fly her out to Boston before Christmas so she can undergo pioneering treatment to complete her oesophagus, which stops at the bottom of her throat and appears again in her stomach.

Her 32-year-old mother, who is originally from Poland, said it would be very hard to watch her daughter in a coma but she was hoping it would give her a normal life like her twin Emie.

She said: "They basically grow an oesophagus, and attach two stitches to both parts of the oesophagus, and stimulate the growth. Eventually, after several weeks where she will be in a coma, they can put them together. It will be very hard but that's what we have to do. I will be going with her and Eddie will have to stay here to work to pay the mortgage."

Although the €500,000 procedure is being funded by the HSE and the VHI, the parents are also fundraising for the cost of Estie living next to the hospital in America.

To make a donation go to www.eliemadden.com

Irish Independent

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