Elie Madden, the Irish twin currently receiving life saving treatment in Boston is making a steady recovery, having emerged from a 38-day induced coma after undergoing pioneering surgery.
"The whole surgery was a success, they were really happy,” her mother, Esti, told the Irish Voice on Monday from Boston.
“Elie is resting; she had a really hard few days but finally last night she started to feel much better.
“It is amazing to have her back but she isn’t herself yet, she is still on so many drugs. She was on a big amount of sedation and you cannot just switch it off.”
“We cannot wait until she is back to her full self,” Esti added, as she continues to maintain a bedside vigil with her daughter in Boston.
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Last November, just weeks after celebrating her first birthday, Elie Madden was flown in the Irish government jet by Air Corps from Dublin to the U.S. to undergo a revolutionary procedure known as the Foker Process in the Children’s Hospital Boston.
When the Dublin twin was born by emergency Caesarean section she was diagnosed with a rare condition known as severe posterior tracheomalacia and long gap esophageal atresia. Her condition meant her esophagus did not join up with her stomach, and as a result she was unable to eat drink or swallow on her own.
For her treatment, doctors used the Foker Process which stimulated the upper and lower ends of her esophagus to grow. The 1-year-old underwent surgery on January 4 to join the two ends of her esophagus.
She emerged from her coma on Monday, January 9 after over five weeks. On Wednesday, doctors will examine her esophagus to ensure the toddler is healing well.
In the coming weeks, Elie is facing at least another three surgeries for other complications, but parents Esti and Eddie remain positive about the future.
“We definitely have a milestone behind us,” Esti reflected.
“It is definitely not over yet, there are still challenges with her airway, that is the big issue right now.”
“I feel like we will have at least another two months. Everything depends on how well she recovers.”
Esti, Elie and Emie relocated to Boston in November for the treatment, while dad Eddie remained in Dublin to maintain his job.
The Madden family was reunited over the holidays when Eddie traveled from Dublin to Boston. But now Eddie, who works as a waiter in Dublin, will once again have to leave his girls when he returns to Ireland later this week.
“From the beginning, we knew we were not here for short term,” Esti said.
Elie’s twin, Emie, has adjusted to life in Boston, despite not being in the constant presence of her sister.
“She is fine and very happy, she is in hospital every couple of days with her grandma,” Esti says.
“This is not a fun place to be, but we like to have her here with her sister for half an hour every couple of days.”
Family and friends back in Ireland are continuing to fundraise for the Maddens’ stay in Boston, where they are renting an apartment close to the hospital for $6,000 per month. For updates or to donate to the Elie Madden fund log into http://www.eliemadden.com.
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