A 14-month-old twin whose rare condition prevents him from eating, drinking or swallowing, underwent a potentially life-saving operation in the US yesterday.
Dubliner Sergio O’Connor was born with tracheo-oesophageal fistual, a condition that left him without a complete oesophagus.
Last month, the toddler, who is in an induced coma, was flown to Boston Children’s Hospital to undergo a procedure known as the Foker process, which involves stimulating the growth of the oesophagus.
Less than two weeks ago he underwent his first surgery to reduce the 5cm gap between the ends of his oesophagus. His progress has been so good that the gap has reduced to just 1cm, allowing his second surgery to rejoin both ends to take place in yesterday’s scheduled 10-hour operation.
Speaking before the surgery, his parents Donal and Rosa asked friends and relatives to pray for success.
Stressing it was “a big day for surgery,” they posted on their blog: “Everything kind of hinges on this crucial operation so please keep Sergio in your prayers tomorrow.”
Donal, who hails from a traditional music family in Donnycarney, has said he likes to play the fiddle while his son sleeps.
He told The Irish Voice: “We’ve been playing lots of music. My parents have come over from Ireland and my father plays the tin whistle. His heart rate does go up sometimes. He does respond to it.”
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