Brave Jessica is given the gift of life thanks to transplant: ‘I want the donor family to know the difference this has made to our lives’
Published 17/09/2015 | 11:11
The parents of an Irish baby who underwent a vital heart transplant has thanked the family of the “miracle donor” who saved her life.
Jessica Hall, who is just 10 months old, received a new heart in Great Ormond Street Hospital in London three weeks ago and is thriving thanks to a family’s decision to donate their loved one’s organs.
“We don’t know if Jessica would be with us if it hadn’t been for the donor. She was living minute to minute,” Jessica’s mum Elaine told The Irish Mirror.
“I would love for the donor family to know the difference they have made to our lives. They are inspirations. Their generosity to donate the gift of life at a time when they are going through so much pain themselves has saved Jessica,” she said.
Elaine (24) and her partner Stephen were shocked when their new baby was diagnosed with hypertonic cardiomyopathy just weeks after she was born. This disorder causes progressive heart failure and without a heart transplant Jessica would not have seen her first birthday.
“Our lives were completely turned upside down. Jessica spent eight months in ICU in Crumlin before she was flown to London for her transplant.
“I stayed with her in Dublin and I think since January I was home six times.
“I stay in the parents’ accommodation at the hospital. Jessica was so ill I wanted to be beside her. Stephen did his best – he was up most evenings after work.”
The couple, from Monaghan, have a son Daniel, who Jessica said she “didn’t see” for weeks at a time.
“There were weeks when I didn’t see Daniel just because Jessica was so ill.
“There were times when she was dying in front of us. She had multi-organ failure and that was the worst. But she battled on and she is amazing,” said Elaine.
Since her transplant, Jessica has been given a new a new lease of life, and Elaine expressed her gratitude to the family of the donor who made it possible.
“Since she had her transplant she’s been thriving. She has just got out of ICU for the first time in nine months. She is on the ward and she’s going from strength to strength.
“Jessica can bring her hands up to her mouth, move her head, her legs and she’s giving us loads of smiles. The excitement is an understatement. When we got the call she was at her best ans this is what just meant to be.
Jessica and her family feature in an RTE One documentary focused on Crumlin airing at 10:15pm