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Sunday 19 November 2017

It could happen again, says transplant blunder teen

Meadhbh McGivern: doesn't trust authorities
Meadhbh McGivern: doesn't trust authorities

Mark Hilliard

THE teenage girl who missed out on a vital kidney transplant due to a lack of air transport is not sure a repeat of her horror ordeal will be prevented.

Meadhbh McGivern (14) was denied the procedure last month following a series of errors sourcing suitable transport within a strict medical deadline.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) last week found there was no evidence that Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin, the HSE or the National Ambulance Service understood or managed the risks of care.

And it called for the establishment of a 24-hour National Aeromedical Co-ordination Centre to take control of future cases.

However, speaking to the Irish Independent last night, Meadhbh -- who remains very ill -- said she could not be certain she could trust the authorities to act.

Her family insist they will monitor developments closely.

"I felt really upset," Meadhbh said about missing out on the transplant. "I was annoyed because I have been waiting for so long."

Meadhbh, from Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, was about to board a Coast Guard helicopter in Sligo when she and her parents, Joe and Assumpta, were told they would not make it to King's College Hospital London before a 2am deadline.

She has spent two years on a waiting list -- the longest a paediatric patient has ever waited for a transplant in this country. It emerged that several agencies were involved in a "desperate and frantic" attempt to secure transport on the night of July 2 -- the HSE, the Coast Guard, the Department of Transport, the Air Corps and the Emergency Medical Support Services.

Meadhbh's organ was given to another recipient.

The teenager remains very tired and very sick, often too ill to go out with her friends. "I am ok today but I do feel nauseous," she said, saying that the days were good and bad.

Meadhbh must continue to rest as much as possible and hope that another kidney match becomes available, and that on the next occasion she will arrive in time.

Irish Independent

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