13 Aug 2022

Offaly family give heartbreaking update on son fighting rare illness

Offaly family give heartbreaking update on son fighting rare illness

The family of young Daire McDonnell have provided a heartbreaking update on the health of their 'little fighter'.

The Edenderry one-year-old who was flown to the UK for specialist treatment for a rare bowel disease in October is now in need of another transplant but is not strong enough to undergo it, according to his family. 

Daire was flown to Newcastle by the Irish Air Corps after being deemed a match for a potentially life-saving stem cell transplant. He is still in the UK receiving treatment. He was born with multiple atresia of the bowel. He is dependent on total parenteral nutrition (TPN), a form of feeding that bypasses the gastrointestinal tract.

A side effect from the TPN is that it affects your liver which has led to Daire being diagnosed with liver disease. His condition, combined with other illnesses, is life-threatening. 

In recent days, his family posted an update: "Dáire had a fairly okay weekend and we had seen some baby steps of improvement. He opened his eyes, he lifted his arms, pointing his finger and we were hoping the consultant would be happy this morning and I was hoping to get a lovely picture of his arm in air.

"Unfortunately instead our world came crashing in around us. Dáire needs a multi viscular transplant but he's too ill now to be listed.

"We're heartbroken. There is nothing more that they can do for our little man and we are trying to get him transferred back to Crumlin so his brothers can spend some time with him as our time is very short.

"We are devastated beyond belief poor Rian [brother] knows something is wrong with Dáire we don't know how we will break this to him."

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