A COUPLE with West Cork ties are fundraising to cover the costs of their son’s life-saving liver transplant, and also to help other families who find themselves in a similar situation.
Jamie Good and his wife Sheila Murphy’s son Teddy, was diagnosed with hypo-plastic left heart syndrome at 20 weeks in the womb.
He was delivered by a cardiac team in the Coombe Hospital in Dublin and rushed, within minutes to Crumlin, where more bad news was delivered a few days later.
‘He was also diagnosed with Biliary Atresia, which ultimately meant he also needed a liver transplant,’ said Jamie.
‘Liver transplants are not done on children in Ireland, so there was no option but to travel to Belgium for the transplant on February 16th,’ said Jamie.
Last February he donated 20% of his liver to Teddy and fortunately the operation was a success. ‘He did develop a blood clot afterwards which led to a stroke and he lost the use of his right side for a time but he got that back. He had his six-month check in August and everything looks good for now which is fantastic,’ said a relieved Jamie.
Teddy, who will be two in November, weighed just 7.2kilos pre transplant, and is now 10.2 kilos and climbing.
However the family are now facing crippling medical bills, with more to come as Teddy will need further treatment, including heart surgery.
‘I was under the impression the costs were covered by the HSE, but we’re liable for 15-20% of what are unquantifiable costs. The bill for one procedure alone was €135,000,’ said Jamie who worked in specialised steel construction, but had to stop working to recover from surgery and become Teddy’s full-time carer, while Sheila is on maternity leave from her job in the haematology lab at the Bon Secours Hospital after the birth of their daughter Jamie.
The couple got married in Bantry House and had their reception in the Maritime Hotel.
‘We refrained from going down this road up until now. With help from family and charities we were able to cover our expenses but they could explode into hundreds of thousands of euro. These bills are crippling us as a family so we have had to swallow our pride and ask for help,’ he said.
So far over €61,000 has been raised and excess funds will go to Teddy’s future heart surgery bills and to relevant charities.