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Irish Post THE

AUGUST 20, 2011 | £1.30 | Eurozone €1.95

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No British move for transplant girl’s family A

CO. LEITRIM family will not have to move to Britain while their daughter waits for a vital organ donor here. Ballinamore teenager Meadhbh McGivern is on a priority list for receiving an organ from a non-heartbeating donor. The 14-year-old made headlines last month when a series of transport failures in Ireland meant she could not be airlifted to King’s College Hospital in London for a liver transplant. A Health Information and Quality Authority report this week recommended that the HSE should ensure that parents of potential liver transplant patients were involved in discussions about the logistics of allocating an organ for their child. The report said parents of patients who live more than three hours’ travel time from the British hospital where the operation will be carried out should possibly consider relocating to Dublin or London. But dad Joe McGivern said plans are now in place to ensure that Meadhbh would be able to travel to London in sufficient time if they receive news of another donor organ. And so the family will continue to live in Leitrim. “We have checked with King’s College Hospital and there is a

window of between four and eight hours for donors of nonheartbeating donors,” Mr McGivern said. Meadhbh is now going into her second consecutive year on a donor waiting list. “I think she holds the honourable title of being the longest child ever on the liver transplant waiting list in Ireland,” her dad said. Mr McGivern has also revealed he has alternative transport plans in case no aircraft is available from the Air Corps or Irish Coast Guard when another organ becomes available. He said he has arranged to use a private air ambulance located at Weston Airport in Leixlip, Co. Kildare and that the family would start travelling towards Dublin as soon as they got another call about a donor organ. That would give them the option of using aircraft based at Dublin Airport, Baldonnel and Weston. The HIQA report, commissioned by Irish Health Minister James Reilly, looked into why no aircraft was available to transport Meadhbh to London on July 2 in time to avail of the liver transplant. It said the lack of a single coordinating agency or individual with overall charge of a patient’s transport arrangements was to blame for the failure.

Meadhbh McGivern with parents Joe and Assumpta. Inset: Chief Executive of the Health Information and Quality Authority Tracey Cooper during the launch of a report which details the findings of the Meadhbh McGivern inquiry. Main picture: Brian Farrell

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