We later learned that this flu has an adverse effect in (approx) 1 in 250,000 people and unfortunately our Molly was one of those.
Molly complained of a sore throat to her parents and visited her local G.P were she presented in good health, temperature slightly elevated but not out of the 'normal' range, all her stats within range. As the day progressed Molly very gradually deteriorated, but continued to eat, drink etc... Her parents grew concerned as this was completely out of character for her. At 9pm they brought her to Shannondoc, but still no great concern. The doctor on duty explained how Molly probably had a virus, which regular Paracetemol and fluids would hopefully be of benefit. For an unknown reason, Audrey and Noel felt very uneasy, as again, this was completely out of character for Molly, so they requested a transfer letter to A+E. They were seen immediately and from there, everything spiralled. Molly was taken straight to Resuscitation and from there, we all received the phone call. Audrey and Noel were soon informed that Crumlin hospital and Temple Street Children’s Hospital where been contacted to offer support to the team in Limerick. Within 4 hours, Molly proved positive for Influenza B, MSSA severe Sepsis and right Pleural Effusion. She now had multiple organ failure with acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute cardiogenic shock.
Those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, Sepsis refers to an infection that is caused by bacteria that spreads through the blood. Septic shock refers to an infection that is so severe that a person is no longer able to maintain their blood pressure on their own and if left untreated results in multiple organ failure and death.
Molly was quickly transferred to ICU at University Hospital Limerick. The ICU team, who we now know saved her life, reacted quickly and intubated Molly on a high pressure ventilation.
After several hours of trying to stabilise Molly for the journey, the team from ICU Temple Street arrived. Many hours passed before she started her journey. When her parents requested that she was air-lifted, they were told she was far too unstable. They had a Garda escort ready in Limerick for the journey, a journey that they explained could be her last.
Audrey and Noel arrived in Temple Street, just after 9pm and were told to prepare themselves for the worst. There was a ventilator in Sweden, but molly was too critical, so they sat beside their girl and waited. At this stage, Molly’s kidneys had failed, so she was placed on dialysis.
Against all medical odds, Molly very slowly began to show signs of stabilising. Several tests, including a brain MRI had to be performed to assess Molly’s brain to see if she had suffered brain damage from lack of oxygen. We were told that her scan was clear but that we had to wait until she woke to confirm. Audrey and Noel sat by her bedside until our little miracle, little by little, crept into recovery mode. We soon began to see how devastating Sepsis can be for those who are lucky enough to survive. Our Molly, fighting to hang on, against all the odds, her beautiful body covered in wounds, her little ear which she lay on, now non-existent, refused to give up. She fought, as she continues to do every day, with her beautiful, forgiving, life-loving attitude to life.
Molly is now faced with her 'recovery'. She has been back in Temple Street several times for check-ups. She also visits her 'angels' in ICU, whose faces light up when they see her....their medical miracle, their fighter, their angel. Molly's photo holds pride of place on the nurses’ station in ICU.
Molly relies on a walker and wheelchair, as both her feet were badly damaged by the Sepsis. Her lungs have also been badly damaged and will take a long time to recover. She is now fighting her hardest, to return to the girl she was, a sociable girl, a Munster dancer. She continues to travel across the country on a regular basis to meet with various Consultants who she needs to treat her, properly diagnose her and establish a rehabilitation programme for her recovery.
Molly looks forward to starting her 2nd year in Scoil Mhuire Ennistymon, but faces many challenges. She is scheduled for surgery as part of an extensive recovery programme in the National Orthopaedic Hospital in Cappagh at the end of August.
I ask anybody who is lucky enough to know Molly to please help fund her recovery. Molly continues to fight all odds each day. Help Molly get back to the life she once had and to get back on her beautiful feet.
All donations will go towards Molly's medical bills and any money left over will be donated to BUMBLEance, the amazing ambulance service for children that transferred Molly from Limerick to Temple Street. Thank you!
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