Transplant on hold for hepatitis C woman


A liver transplant for a critically-ill Cork woman who has hepatitis C will not be carried out for at least a few days until her condition has stabilised, doctors at King's College Hospital in London have said.

Ms Sylvia O'Leary (32) was airlifted to the hospital this weekend seeking the transplant after suffering partial liver and kidney failure. The mother of two from Ballincollig, Co Cork, had been on a life-support machine at Cork University Hospital. This will be her third liver transplant.

She controversially accused the Minister for Health of gambling on her life by delaying payment of a compensation package believed to be worth about €1 million, a claim rejected by the Minister.

Ms O'Leary was infected with hepatitis C after receiving a contaminated unit of blood during her first such transplant at King's College Hospital in 1991.

In March 2002, she had to undergo a second liver transplant because of damage caused to the organ by hepatitis C. She had only learnt of her infection with the virus during the previous year.

The State was considered liable for the infection because Ms O'Leary was under its care at the time.