Isabel

  • Isabel by Martin Sweeney

Isabel was born August 3rd 2009, like every baby she looked beautiful and healthy and when we heard that first cry we were relieved.

Isabel came home from the maternity hospital and after a few weeks we noticed she still had jaundice in her eyes and abit on her face, the public health nurse said this would go away eventually but after 5 weeks we brought her to the Limerick Regional where Isabel was diagnosed with a condition called Bilary Atresia.

This is basically a condition (in Isabel’s case) was born with no bile ducts, unfortunately being a chronic disease she needs a liver transplant.

The unusual (but not all symptoms) with this is Isabel has a condition called Situs inversus; basically all her organs are swapped to the other side of the body, even the heart which is called Dextrocardia. (1 in 10000 chance!)
So Isabel’s liver is on her left side, etc, hard to get your head around I know!

She had a procedure called a kasai at 8 weeks which basically buys her time before the transplant, this involves creating a bile duct from the small intestine and joined it to the liver which drains the bile.

For both myself and soon to be wife, Nikki, this was the longest wait of our lives for her to come out of that operation and thankfully it was a success, not with out a lot of bumps on the way with infections and further illness’s etc.

Unfortunately on Christmas Eve 2011, we noticed jaundice in Isabel’s eye, our hearts just sank to our feet, by Christmas day Isabels jaundice had spread to her face and body.

We went to Limerick Hospital, where the consultant had told us our worst fears that he thought the liver could be failing and we would have to go straight to Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin. Where the staffs are absolutely amazing can I point out!

Originally what we thought would be 10 days turned into 4 weeks of very high toxic antibiotics though IV.
It was a rollercoaster of a ride she’d be good one day, bloods would be all over the place the next day.

Unfortunately none of the antibiotics worked and now we’re facing a transplant, which will be done in Kings Hospital in London.

Because Isabel has rare blood group (B-) we were given the option to look at donating a part of our liver.

I have Isabel’s blood group so I’m hoping I will be the match, the advantage of this even though it has its risks is Isabel wont have to wait for a donor and can be done as soon as possible.

 

 

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