A Tullamore mother says that she is willing to die to give her eight year old son the chance of life.
Helen Lynch's son Charlie, who was diagnosed with a defective liver shortly after his birth, has been on a waiting list for a transplant for almost three years. Sadly, due to a number of complications, such as Charlie's hypertension, it has been difficult to find a suitable donor.
With the bubbly youngster's health rapidly deteriorating, doctors finally agreed to Helen's request for a donor assessed to see if she could donate part of her liver to her son.
In November, she was informed that her liver was a suitable match, however following a second assessement by doctor's in Germany, on February 20 she was given that heartbreaking news that due to the small size of her own liver the chances of the transplant being successful were halved.
For more than two months, Helen, Charlie, and her other son Daniel have been based in the UK in order to be closer to King's Hospital in London on the chance that a suitable donor is found.
The Lynchs made the move after they had been told that there have been problems transferring liver patients to England for transplants. Speaking to the Offaly Independent this week, Helen says that she is still reeling for the news given to her last month.
"They said that the best outcome is to wait another three months to see if a donor comes up for Charlie. If not, they will have no choice but to give Charlie a fighting chance with my liver. There are big risks involved with this transplant especially with Charlie's blood condition as well."
"We've been waiting for a donor since November 2014. We had one false alarm where they got a donor but the liver was too fatty, that was in July of last year. I went for my assessment in November and we got the all clear. They then had to send the results off to Germany and they came back with result that my liver was underweight for my own body weight and that I couldn't donate the 40% that Charlie needed. I would only be able to give him 20% which would cut the chances of survival.
"It was some knock back, I won't lie. When they explained everything to me, it was heartbreaking. They don't know if they will get a liver within three months. Now they are telling me that when the three months are up they can give Charlie 20% of my liver to give him a fighting chance. It's not a hundred percent that he will come through it."
As Charlie waits for a donor, Helen says that his health continues to deteriorate.
"Charlie's on medication three times a day. He scratches morning, noon and night. He doens't sleep at night. He's suffering quite a bit. As far as he was concerned, I was going to give him part of my liver and he was going to get better. He heard the doctor telling me that my liver was small. It's upset him quite a bit."
In addition to the risks of Charlie's health, there are significant risks for Helen, particulary given the size of her liver. She has had to make provisions for the guardianship for her son Daniel and Charlie in case anything happens to her.
"It is a big thing to think about especially when you have two kids. It's like I am of waiting to see if me and Charle will survive in three months time. I am counting the days and hoping and praying that a call comes through.
"I have to give Charlie a chance. I know I have another son but I know my family will look after my other son if something bad happens. I have to give Charlie that chance. When the doctor tells you that there is even a one perecent chance, you do it for your child."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help single parent Helen with the costs of staying in England with her sons. She says that if wasn't for the generosity of the people of Tullamore, she wouldn't be able to remain in the UK. If you would like to contribute you can go to: gofundme.com/2t79uz8.