baby, and I just wasn’t ready to cope with that.
At Leeds General Infirmary, doctors explained a liver transplant might be the only option for Eimile.
‘But she’s so young…’ sighed Paul. ‘How will she survive?’
But it was her only hope, so Eimile was put on the donor list.
‘Put my name forward,’ my sister Sheena, 56, said.
Amazingly, she turned out to be a match, and was more than happy to be a donor. But the
surgery had to wait until Eimile had put on more weight.
That September, at just nine months old, our tiny baby was finally ready to undergo the gruelling operation.
At St James’ Hospital, 20
percent of Sheena’s liver was extracted and sped to Leeds, where Eimile, Paul and I were waiting.
Six agonising hours on, we were told the op had been successful. Relief! ‘Hello, little lady,’ I cooed at Eimile in the recovery room. I visited Sheena, too. Though in pain, she was desperate to see Eimile.
Amazingly, she pulled through, and our brave girl came home in December.
Since then, she has gone from strength to strength.
Last year, she took part in the Transplant Games, a sports day fundraiser, joining me and Sheena for a 3k run.
Now five, Eimile still takes anti-rejection drugs and steroids to prevent infections.
But every year she celebrates two birthdays – one for her birth and one for the day she got her new liver.
She’s due to start school in August and is really looking forward to making friends.
We’re all so incredibly proud of her.
Me, Paul – and of course, life-saving Auntie Sheena!
It was a gruelling six-hour operation
She’s come so far
Ready for school!