| 4.1°C Dublin

First thing Meadhbh did when she woke up after her liver op was give us a huge hug - Dad

An Irish teenager who flew to London for a liver transplant hugged her family as soon as she woke up from the life-saving surgery.

Brave Meadhbh McGivern (14) was taken to King's College Hospital for an emergency transplant 10 days ago.

Her father Joe spoke of his relief at her recovery from the "marathon surgery" and described the joy he felt when she opened her arms to hug him and her mother Assumpta.

"When she woke initially she looked around in amazement and it was sort of: 'Where am I?'" he recalled.


"God bless her, then her arms went out to give us a hug so both Assumpta and I were there and she gave us a hug and started to talk a little more normally considering what she was under.

"It was an emotional [hug]."

Meadhbh was due to be operated on in the summer but emergency services were unable to get her to London in time.

The Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, native was eventually flown out of the country on the Government Learjet on September 14 and arrived in Heathrow shortly after midnight.

She was taken straight away to a hospital but her operation did not start until 7am the next day and lasted 13 hours instead of an expected eight.

"Going back to last Thursday week it was marathon surgery," Joe told The Tubridy Show.

"The surgeons and the medical staff and the nurses are terrific and more than good to us.

"I'm a happy dad at this point.

"I'm probably feeling the best I've felt in weeks and months.

"It's nice to see Meadhbh doing so well.

"She is still in a little bit of pain which is only natural considering what she has been through."

Joe explained that he had been extremely concerned during the operation and that the whole family was grateful for the public's support in these difficult times.

"We were aware that on occasions she was critical and she was bleeding out quite heavily," he said. "It was really nice last Thursday when we were in that dark spot that we knew everyone's prayers were there."