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Fighter Meadhbh opens her eyes after transplant

MEADHBH McGivern, the teenager who received a liver transplant in a 14-hour operation on Thursday, woke up yesterday and recognised her parents at her bedside.

And Meadhbh's mother, Assumpta, told the Irish Independent that she is sure the 14-year-old will pull through because she is "a fighter" and because she has the prayers of the Irish nation behind her.

Meadhbh, who missed a transplant in July because of botched plans, remained heavily sedated throughout the day yesterday at King's College Hospital in south London.

The Co Leitrim teenager was described as being "relatively stable", but her father said later she "is still a very sick little girl".

Her mother said that, at one stage, Meadhbh woke up and was "aware of us there".

Throughout the day yesterday, Meadhbh's parents, Assumpta and Joe, ensured that one of them was always at her side in case she woke a second time.

"She is kind of drifting in and out of consciousness. She is heavily sedated and still on a respirator," said Mrs McGivern, adding that staff at the hospital were happy with her daughter's progress.

"It's a long time on the table for a little girl," she said. "She's had a hard old time but she's tough, she's a fighter."

The McGiverns said they remained confident that Meadhbh would get through this complex surgical procedure but admitted it could be three to six weeks before she leaves the hospital.

"It very much depends on whether there are any setbacks. Every person is an individual," Mrs McGivern said.

It is hoped that Meadhbh may be able to breathe on her own by this evening and that she may move from intensive care to a high dependency unit by the end of next week.


Meadhbh and her parents were flown to Heathrow on Wednesday night on the Government's Lear Jet after being offered a viable organ.

It came just over two months after, on the night of July 2, Meadhbh missed out on the chance of a transplant.

That night, after more than eight hours of frantic calls, Meadhbh was told she would not make it to London on time.

The organ she had waited on for more than two years was given to another recipient as air transport could not be co-ordinated quickly enough.

Now it is hoped the transplant will give Meadhbh a quality of life she has not had in years.

Irish Independent