Tuesday 19 November 2019

Family hold vigil after schoolgirl's transplant

Caroline Crawford

AN Irish schoolgirl who was rushed to a London hospital with only an hour to live is in an induced coma after an emergency liver transplant.

Wiktoria Kubaczyk (8), from Headford, Co Galway, underwent surgery on July 30 at King's College Hospital.

She was flown by the Air Corps to London, where doctors said she only had an hour to live without the donor liver.

Due to her critical status, surgeons were forced to carry out the transplant using a liver that was not entirely suitable. Her body initially rejected the new organ and she was put into an induced coma.

Surgeons fear that Wiktoria may have suffered brain damage as a result of massive swelling following the emergency transplant.

Her parents, Mario and Anna, are originally from Poland but have been living in Galway for the past seven years.

They are keeping a vigil at her bedside.

Fr Ray Flaherty, parish priest in Headford, flew to London this week to comfort them.

He said: "Surgeons weren't 100pc happy with the liver they gave her as it was fatty, but it was her only chance.

"Her parents were told she only had an hour to live if they didn't do this."

Wiktoria had been completely healthy but contracted a mystery virus last May. She initially underwent tests in University Hospital Galway.

However, further tests revealed a serious problem with her kidneys and she was immediately transferred to Crumlin Children's Hospital in Dublin.

From there, she was transferred by the Air Corps to London, where she underwent the emergency surgery.

The community is now rallying behind the family and holding a number of fundraising events to assist them.

When Headford locals first heard of Wiktoria's illness, they immediately raised €1,000 to help the family.

Fr Flaherty said: "I prayed for her at Mass and the response was immediate. As parishioners were leaving, they were putting €50 bills into my hand for the family. It was just amazing."

People wishing to donate to the fund for Wiktoria can do so through a Bank of Ireland account set up to help. The sort code is 90-38-75, and the account number is 1351 0376.

Irish Independent

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