Father of coma baby to join family in US


THE FATHER of a Dublin toddler twin who will spend Christmas in an induced coma in Boston is due to fly out today to join his family.

Eddie Madden has not seen his one-year-old daughter, Elie, since she was flown across the Atlantic by the Air Corps in the Government jet last month.

She travelled to the US with her mother Esti, twin sister Emie, grandmother Anita and a specialist team from the Health Service Executive to Boston Children’s Hospital, where she is being treated for rare digestive disorders.

The condition, diagnosed as severe posterior tracheomalacia and long-gap oesophageal atresia, resulted in a 5cm gap between Elie’s oesophagus and stomach. Her twin Emie was born in good health.

The condition prevents the toddler from being able to eat, drink or swallow without medical equipment and she has already undergone a number of operations in Ireland for a related heart condition.

Her medical care in Boston involves an induced coma lasting some months to allow her oesophagus to grow – a procedure known as Foker’s technique.

She had her first surgery on December 2nd, when doctors discovered several other complications, which may lengthen her stay in Boston, if funding permits.

“Dr Foker, who developed the treatment response, has come out of retirement to assist with a number of medical teams,” Mr Madden said.

“Elie will be in her sleep state on Christmas Day, and we have no idea how long this will last,” he added.

The family and friends have been fundraising to try to support their daughter’s stay, while the HSE and VHI are supporting the cost of the medical procedure. Mr Madden works in Shanahan’s on the Green restaurant in Dublin, and is taking leave to join the family for Christmas.

When Elie was flown from Baldonnel, west Dublin, in the Gulfstream IV, it was the first time the Government jet was used by the Air Corps for an air-ambulance trip of its type across the Atlantic.

Since birth by emergency Caesarean section, Elie has had a continuous suction tube through her nose and requires regular ventilation treatment.

She spent nine months in Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, Dublin, and latterly has been treated at home in Santry with 16-hour daily medical support.

“I’m really looking forward to them all as I miss them terribly,” Mr Madden said before leaving.

“The alternative for Elie is a lifetime of medical complications,” he said.

Esti is recording a blog of her daughter’s ongoing treatment on eliemadden.com