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Saturday 3 December 2016

Tot who defied experts loses brave fight for life

Published 25/11/2010 | 05:00

A TODDLER who defied medical experts by surviving marathon brain surgery and a revolutionary cancer treatment has lost her fight for life.

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Holly O'Keeffe (3), from Tower, Co Cork, who was diagnosed in March 2009 with cancerous tumours behind her eye, cheekbone and in her kidney, died on Tuesday night.

The little girl had a rare form of cancer called Neuroblastoma -- and her family was told her chances of survival were very slim.

The child courageously fought the condition -- and a marathon operation she underwent was hailed a major success.

Holly finished chemotherapy in January 2009, but after scans showed she still had tumours in her body she began treatment in University College Hospital in London. The therapy is not available here as it involves highly radioactive iodine.

Although the treatment initially worked, last June scans showed that she had another brain tumour, which was treated but it returned again.

Neurosurgeons removed 99pc of the tumour, but eight weeks ago her devastated parents were told another tumour had formed.

She died on Tuesday with her parents Mary and Martin at her bedside.

Irish Independent

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