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Thursday 18 October 2018

'It is heartbreaking to watch her deteriorate so rapidly' - Woman (28) raising funds for life-saving treatment

Elizabeth McNicholas
Elizabeth McNicholas
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

An Irish woman who is fighting for her life is desperately trying to raise funds for a life-saving surgery abroad.

Elizabeth McNicholas (28) from Lucan, Co Dublin began suffering from a complex spinal condition in 2008, just before she sat her Leaving Cert exams.

Elizabeth McNicholas
Elizabeth McNicholas

She underwent four spinal fusions in Ireland, all of which have been unsuccessful.

Elizabeth's mum, Brenda, told Independent.ie that she is deteriorating rapidlly.

"Due to the unsuccessful spinal surgeries, Elizabeth developed a brain injury. Elizabeth's spine is crushing her internal organs and she needs a machine to breath.

"Elizabeth spends her life in pain and is confined to her bed.

"She was forced through ill health to put her final year of college on hold and she has had to watch all her friends move on in life. Before Elizabeth's health deteriorated she was a great camogie player and musician. Now, she has no quality of life."

On Christmas Eve, the family were offered a lifeline.

"We were informed that her life-saving treatment – consisting of multiple surgeries involving her spine, hips and pelvis - must take place on January 3, 2018 at the Comprehensive Spine Centre at the Acibadem Maslak Hospital, Istanbul. We are now in a race against time to raise €150,000."

The life-saving treatment that Elizabeth needs is not available in Ireland. The family say that despite being referred by her consultant for treatment abroad, Elizabeth was refused funding under the Treatment Abroad Scheme.

"This surgery would save Elizabeth's life. It guarantees that Elizabeth will be able to sit up independently and to be able to get around independently in her wheelchair.

"It is heartbreaking for us looking at her deteriorating so fastly. Elizabeth fights through everyday with courage and bravery despite being in horrendous pain and unable to get out of bed. All Elizabeth wants is a chance at life but without this surgery she'll have no chance."

You can donate to Elizabeth's medical fund here

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