Saturday 20 January 2018

Irish baby born too early to donate organs as her parents had hoped: ‘Annie is in heaven now’

Elisha McGill and her husband Dermot with Bobby (nine months) and 22-month-old Ollie in their home yesterday
Elisha McGill and her husband Dermot with Bobby (nine months) and 22-month-old Ollie in their home yesterday
Elisha and Dermot McGill picturd in their home Pic: Belfast Telegraph
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

An Irish baby who wouldn’t survive birth due to a rare condition was born too early to donate her organs as her parents had wished.

Eilisha and Dermot McGill tragically lost their daughter Annie on Saturday afternoon after she passed away soon after birth in their arms.

The newborn suffered from anencephaly, which means she developed in the womb without certain parts of her brain and skull.

Her grieving parents hoped that she would be able to donate her heart valves and liver cells to save other lives, but she was born too soon before 36 weeks gestation.

The couple from Aghadowey, Co. Derry thanked their friends for the support they have received following the passing of Annie this weekend.

“Today at 12.30 we welcomed our beautiful daughter Annie into this world.

“As we hoped throughout the journey we wanted some time with her and are so proud to say that Annie grew her angel’s wings at 2.15.”

“We’re so proud of our amazing Annie and are now taking time with her to prepare for the difficult days that lie ahead.

“Annie’s life will be celebrated and arrangements for her funeral will be made later and updated in due course.

“And have no doubt she will protect her little brothers and guide her daddy and mammy the rest of our days. RIP Annie,” they wrote on their Facebook page.

The family has hoped that Annie would be able to follow in the footsteps of a child in the UK who became the youngest organ donor in Britain.

Teddy, who lived for just 100 minutes, saved the life of a man in Leeds after donating his kidney.

Elisha and Dermot, a fabricator/welder who also restores old rally cars, are also parents of two boys Ollie (2) and Bobby (1).

Speaking in the past, the couple spoke about the short time they would have to spend with Annie.

"We have been preparing ourselves from December 1, when we were told the diagnosis, to what lies ahead in 18 days. Time is a great healer and to have that time to prepare yourself mentally and physically is important. We see it as a celebration of Annie. It will be emotional, but we hope it gives hope to other families."

The brave couple have also praised the medical teams in the Northern Trust and the specialist nurse who has helped prepare them for the organ donation.

Every year around 15 people in Northern Ireland die waiting for an organ transplant.

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