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Liver-swap dad tells of transport 'chaos'

THE father of a girl who missed the chance of a liver transplant because of blunders in transporting her to London has said the mix-ups could have resulted in a death.

A health watchdog report found that Meadhbh McGivern (14), from Ballinamore in Co Leitrim, was unable to have the operation at King's College Hospital in London last month because no one person or agency was in charge of her care or transportation.

The HSE, the Coast Guard, the Department of Transport, the Air Corps and the Emergency Medical Support Services (EMSS) were all involved in the "desperate and frantic" operation, the HIQA found.

Maedhbh was minutes from boarding a Coast Guard helicopter at Strandhill airport in Co Sligo and ending her two-year wait when she was informed she would not make it to London before a 2am deadline.

Meadhbh's father Joe said the chaos over the lack of a transport plan would be "etched in the memory of our family forever".

"The findings are frightening. We are glad that we brought this to the fore. Had we stayed quiet on this, nobody would ever have known of the lack of plans and protocols."

Joe added that the recommendations outlined in the HIQA report, if implemented, will provide a transport service that will be second to none.