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State jet's mercy mission for Sergio

THE Government jet will fly a Dublin baby to Boston on Monday for a life-changing operation.

Little Sergio O'Connor, who is 12 months old, will be transported from Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin to the US for the operation which will hopefully afford him the opportunity to live as a healthy little boy. The operation will cost more than €100,000.

The HSE has agreed to fund some of the costs, and his family will continue their fundraising campaign at home and abroad for the remainder.

Sergio was born with a rare congenital defect which means that he has a hole between his oesophagus and his stomach. As a result, baby Sergio cannot eat, drink or swallow.

His father Donal told the Herald that he "can't wait" for the day when he will be finally able to feed his son.

Mr O'Connor said he's delighted that Sergio, who has spent every day of his life in hospital and has a twin brother, Tadhg, now has the chance to live as a healthy baby boy. "We're overwhelmed; this is going to greatly improve his standard of life. I can't wait for the day that I can finally shove a spoon into his mouth," he joked.


He will take a seven-and-a-half hour flight to Boston for the ground-breaking procedure, which will mean the toddler won't have to spend his life in hospital.

After the procedure, Sergio will be induced into a coma which could last six weeks.

The O'Connor family have been fundraising tirelessly for Sergio's health since he was born, and will continue to do so while in Boston.

Mr O'Connor said trying to fundraise while in the States may turn out to be beneficial on both a financial and emotional level.

"We can't let the ball slip, and obviously I'm cautious because I can't put all my energy into fundraising," he said. "But Sergio is going to be in a coma for a very long time. I'll go insane if I don't have something to preoccupy me, so I'll welcome having to fundraise."

While Sergio will be spending months attempting to recover the intense procedure, twin brother Tadhg will remain at home in Ireland. Mr O'Connor admitted that this would prove to be another difficulty for the family. "I'm counting the days that I have left with Tadhg before Boston," he added.

Anyone who would like to donate to Help Sergio can log on to www.helpsergio.com.