Seriously ill Carlow teen evacuated from apartment in Houston

‘So relieved she will be out of danger and can get treatment’, says Shauntelle Tynan’s mother

Shauntelle Tynan (19), from Graiguecullen in Co Carlow is in Houston to attend specialist treatment in Texas Children’s Hospital.

Shauntelle Tynan (19), from Graiguecullen in Co Carlow is in Houston to attend specialist treatment in Texas Children’s Hospital.

 

A Carlow teenager battling cancer who had been stranded amid the flooding disaster in Houston has been evacuated from her apartment and brought to Texas Children’s Hospital.

Shauntelle Tynan (19), from Graiguecullen in Co Carlow is in Houston to attend specialist treatment in the hospital and had been stranded in an apartment for 15 hours before being taken through the floods to the facility. It is understood the hospital is located 3km from where the teenager and her family are staying.

The teenager’s mother, Leona Tynan wrote on Facebook on Monday evening: “She is now on her way [to the hospital] with Monica while the weather has allowed a path before more flooding is due later today.

“So relieved she will be out of danger and can get treatment. Thank you all so, so very much for helping us.

“Myself, Stephen and Sophie will stay inside and become board game professionals until this storm passes, we are all safe. We will update on Shan as soon as we know more.”

Speaking on Today with Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ radio prior to the evacuation on Monday, Ms Tynan said: “She’s in need of a blood transfusion and now we’re trying to get her into hospital.”

Ms Tynan said they had been talking to the doctors in the hospital but nobody could get in or out. “We’re waiting on an airlift about eight hours now,” she said.

“Five feet of water surrounds the apartment block they are staying in. They’re on the fourth and top floor which she hopes will give easy access to helicopters should they arrive.

“We’re getting fairly battered by the level of rain, it’s noisy, it’s loud there are alarms going off with warnings of flash floods, tornado warnings... we’re holding on to power at the moment.”

Ms Tynan said they had received an email from their contacts saying they are expecting “a lot more water to enter the building later on today and that in the coming hour we could be without power”.

“We’re getting more and more anxious because obviously we knew that Shauntelle was going to need blood by Monday. It’s still Sunday night here. We’ve been talking to the hospital and everything but by the time we decided that maybe we should go in early, we were in a situation where we couldn’t get out and no one could get in, so we’ve been trying to monitor her as best we can.

“My mother in law is here and she’s a retired nurse so she’s been a blessing because she’s been able to look for symptoms and help us cope whatever way we can to keep Shauntelle from really panicking and getting overly anxious.”

Ms Tynan said they had to ring 911 three times because the hospital “just told us to keep them updated on where we are”.

Ms Tynan also has an 11-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter who she said they are struggling to keep busy. “We’re trying to keep them excited to be part of this big adventure. That’s the only way we can keep them from not being scared,” she said.

“They’re looking out and they’re starting to get bored. We’re trying to keep them occupied. So long as we have power we can do a certain amount with them but when we lose power ... We could be without power for four to five days,” she said.

“We have no idea what we’re going to do with them or provide if people can’t get out or can’t get in. Neighbours are going to have to start sharing supplies and resources.”