Twin to fly home from US after emergency operations


A Dublin toddler twin who was taken on the Government jet to Boston in the US five months ago for emergency treatment is due to be flown home by the Air Corps early next week.

Elie Madden (18 months) had not been able to breathe or swallow unaided when she left Ireland late last year, and was placed in a coma for 38 days in Boston Children’s Hospital to “grow” her oesophagus.

After seven operations she has recently taken her first meal, and has been able to use her voice for the first time.

Elie was diagnosed with a rare digestive disorder at birth known as severe posterior tracheomalacia and long-gap oesophageal atresia.

A 5cm gap between her oesophagus and stomach prevented her from being able to eat, drink or swallow without medical equipment.

She was flown by Government jet to the US last November with her mother Esti, her healthy twin sister Emie, her grandmother Anita and a specialist Health Service Executive (HSE) team.

This was the first time the State’s Gulfstream IV craft had been used for an air ambulance mission of this type across the Atlantic.

Elie’s father Eddie, who works in a Dublin restaurant, leaves for the US tomorrow to join his family for the trip home.

The HSE and VHI have supported the cost of the treatment, but the Maddens’ stay in Boston has required extensive fundraising by friends and supporters. See