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Brave toddler Sergio must wait for second life-saving operation

A Dublin tot has undergone a gruelling life-saving operation in the US.

Sergio O'Connor, who was born without an oesophagus, is recovering well after the 10-hour operation in Boston University Children's Hospital.

However surgeons couldn't complete the critical second phase of the procedure as planned.

It will now be at least a fortnight before the team can attempt to complete the procedure to repair the tract that connects the 14-month-old toddler's mouth to his stomach.


Sergio's father, Donal, thanked their supporters for all the goodwill messages and prayers.

"Even though the gap between his oesophageal pouches is agonisingly close, the surgeons felt that there would be too much tension on the structure of his oesophagus if they went ahead.

"So a difficult but wise decision was made.

"We are not too disappointed by this, as the surgeons explained the strong possibility of this outcome beforehand."

Donal is being supported in Boston by his parents -- with his father, Mick, admitting that it has been a tough time.

"It is hard to watch your child when they are in an induced coma and you are helpless to comfort them," Mick said.

Donal's wife, Rosa, has spent the past month in Boston, but is now returning to Ireland to care for Sergio's twin brother, Tadhg.

Sergio was flown to Boston on the Government jet last month after waiting a year for his life-changing surgery.

The HSE agreed to fund the Boston operation. However, the O'Connor family still has to raise €100,000.

Donal is from a family of well-known traditional musicians and messages of support have been sent from The Chieftains, The Dubliners, Frances Black and Damian Dempsey.

Donations can be made to the Sergio O'Connor Fund, Bank of Ireland, Killester, Dublin, Sort Code 900594, A/C No. 95647682 or Sergio O'Connor Fund, Mitchelstown Credit Union, Co Cork A/C No. 26389E.