Saturday 17 March 2018

'Beyond relieved' - break in weather allows Irish teen Shan stranded by Hurricane Harvey to get to hospital

  • Carlow teen raised €700k for treatment in Texas against rare cancer
  • Fears she would miss out on vital treatment due to extreme flooding
  • Floods receded to allow Shan get to hospital
  • Mum thanks support network in Texas
Shan Tynan (17) with her mum Leona
Shan Tynan (17) with her mum Leona
Picture of flooding in Houston Texas (Image: Leona Tynan)
Picture of flooding in Houston Texas (Image: Leona Tynan)
Picture of flooding in Houston Texas (Image: Leona Tynan)
Picture of flooding in Houston Texas (Image: Leona Tynan) Newsdesk Newsdesk

An Irish teenager who raised more than €700,000 to receive specialist cancer treatment in Texas has made it to hospital after a 15-hour-wait due to Hurricane Harvey.

Carlow teenager Shauntelle (Shan) Tynan (19) is living in Houston, Texas with her family as she receives treatment in her battle against rare cancer, multi-system Langheran’s cell histiocytosis.

The youngster has made it to hospital after a 15-hour wait due to the extreme flooding in the US city after the historic storm. 

"We have a great network of support here in Houston and all our friends pulled together making calls trying to get Shan transport, fortunately when the floods started to recede earlier our friend Danny made a call and his friend Charles was able to get Shan to the hospital before we began to flood again," her mum Leona told

"She is now at Texas Childrens with my mother-in-law and is receiving morphine and fluids while they await her blood work. I am at our apartment with her younger siblings trying to keep them occupied and happy until the storm passes.

"It has been a very surreal weekend and we never imagined seeing the amount of flooding we did. We are lucky everything worked out but for many including close friends they have lost homes and cars and all their possessions," Leona added.

Teenager Shauntelle Tynan told her siblings that the public raised more than €700k for her cancer-treatment
Teenager Shauntelle Tynan told her siblings that the public raised more than €700k for her cancer-treatment

Speaking earlier today her mother Leona revealed that  Shauntelle was stranded in their apartment and is in desperate need of a blood transfusion.

Shauntelle currently has a bad infection and has had neutropenic fevers over the last few days, according to her mother.

Hurricane Harvey, dubbed the '800-year storm', has deluged America's fourth-largest city with devastating floods, with rising water forcing thousands on to rooftops and overwhelming rescuers receiving constant calls for help.

The incessant rain covered much of Houston, Texas, in dirty grey-green water and turned streets into rivers navigable only by boat.

Rescue services have urged people to get on top of their houses to avoid becoming trapped in attics and to wave sheets or towels to draw attention to their location.

Speaking on RTE Radio One's Today with Sean O'Rourke on Monday morning, Shan's mother Leona said that until the storm hit Shan's treatment had been going well.

"We've been here a few months now and everything was going well as expected," she said.

"Shauntelle underwent her last bout of chemo, ending August 18, so this is the week that her blood counts are dropping by the hour, by the day.

"She's really unwell... She is in need of a blood transfusion and we're trying to get her to the hospital.

"Texas Children's Hospital are waiting for us, but our apartment complex is surrounded by five feet of water and nobody can get in or out."

"We're on the fourth floor, thankfully, but we're getting fairly battered. It's noisy, it's loud, there's alarms going off every few minutes.

"We're holding onto power," she continued.

"We have no wifi or cable but we're happy to be holding onto power.

"We got an email from our apartment complex that they're expecting a lot of more water to enter the building today and we could be without power in the coming hours."

Leona said Shan's younger brother, Stephen (11), and sister, Sophie (6) are also in the apartment and they are trying to keep them positive and occupied.

"If we go without power, we've been told it could be four or five days, and we have no idea what we're going to do with them," Leona said.

"We have enough water for another few days, we do still have water coming in but we don't know how long that will last."

Leona said she struggled to gather enough food supplies for their Texas home as the supermarkets had been emptied.

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