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Tuesday 21 November 2017

New lease of life for Liam after brain op

Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

THEY feared the day would never come when their little boy would be able to run around and communicate with other children.

But now Tony and Mary Heffernan are delighting in the new lease of life their son is enjoying after undergoing pioneering brain surgery in May.

Liam Heffernan (3) has been successfully weaned off medication that prevented him from having seizures. He had been dependent on the mediation to help stave off one of the crippling symptoms of the rare and fatal Battens disease, a degenerative neurological disorder.

Just three months ago, the little boy from Castledrum, Keel, Co Kerry, underwent brain surgery in New York, becoming the youngest child ever to have received the treatment, which slows down the progression of the disease. Liam's older sister Saoirse (5) lost her battle with Battens disease in January.

Their father, Tony, said Liam continued to show progress since his surgery earlier this summer. "He completed his latest check-up with his Irish medical team last week and continues to show great improvements overall," Tony told the Irish Independent.

"The main thing is his language, which is increasing all the time and he's trying to form sentences. He's also got a confidence boost because other kids are starting to be able to understand him.

"We're very happy and the doctors are happy also.

"We're still not counting our chickens but we take every day as it comes and if Liam's having a good day that's good enough for us to and we'll see what tomorrow brings," Tony added.

The family has been told he doesn't need to return to the Weill Cornell University, where the trial treatment was performed, until November.

Irish Independent

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