Government jet flies Elie on mission of mercy

IT’S been hailed as a classic waste of taxpayers’ money, but yesterday the government jet was put to a use no-one with a heart would object to.

Instead of its usual cargo of ministerial high-fliers, the Gulfstream IV departed Baldonnel for Boston with one-year-old Elie Madden, her family and specialist medical team on board.

The half-twin, who lives in Santry Cross, Dublin, was transported to the US for surgery to address a 6cm gap between her oesophagus and her stomach.

Her father Eddie Madden, a chef at Shanahan’s on the Green, explained that the use of the government jet was a necessity.

“Elie can’t take a normal commercial flight because of all the equipment she needs to be able to breathe and eat,” he said.

Elie’s mum Esti, from Poland, was diagnosed with a problem pregnancy nearly two years ago.

Elie spent her first nine months in hospital and has undergone several heart operations.

Elie will be put into an induced coma for over three weeks, while doctors use a technique known as the Foker Process to stimulate the oesophagus growth.

Surgery is scheduled for December 2 but Eli and sister Emie will remain in Boston for up to six months to facilitate aftercare.

The Maddens have launched ‘Operation Elie’ to raise money to cover living expenses while in Boston.

* www.eliemadden.com

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