Twins get set for life-saving op in UK

Munster rugby stars Peter O'Mahony and Donncha O'Callaghan with twins Zoe and Maya

The mother of twin girls born with the same medical condition, who raised €34,000 in just three days to fund a vital procedure abroad, is making final arrangements for their trip to a UK hospital.

Cork mum Audrey Murnane is expected to fly to London towards the end of the week ahead of the procedures on Zoe and Maya in London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital early next week.

Audrey said she has had to decline the generous offer of transport to England in the interactive ambulance for kids, the BUMBLEance.

“It would be too exhausting for the girls and flying is necessary,” she said.

But she again thanked the public who helped make her dreams come true after a flood of donations in recent days helped her reach her fundraising target.

“You have helped us achieve the impossible and changed the lives of two little girls forever,” she said.

“We have also managed to raise surplus funds which will be put towards an ongoing treatment plan for Maya and Zoe.”

The backing of the Munster rugby squad played a huge role in her reaching the fundraising target.

Audrey said she will be forever grateful to the team members, and to Donncha O’Callaghan in particular, for taking such a personal interest in her daughters’ plight.

The 18-month-old twins were born with long segment tracheal stenosis, which causes an obstruction in the trachea, the tube that links the throat and lungs.

They are the only twins in Ireland with the condition and need a regular procedure to keep their airways open.

Audrey asked doctors in Great Ormond Street Hospital to assess the girls’ medical files and they agreed to work on the pair next week.

The three-pronged non-invasive procedure includes a bronchoscopy and a dye test to evaluate their condition, and then the insertion of a special balloon to stretch the girls’ airways.

The HSE said no application for treatment abroad under its Treatment Abroad Scheme has been received for the twins, and therefore, no funding for treatment has been refused.

But Audrey insists she was told that no funding would be granted if she applied, forcing her to go public with an appeal for help to raise €34,000 by the Dec 18 deadline.

She said she was “humbled, shocked, surprised, and honoured” by the generosity of people.


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