Liam Heffernan Photo by: Home photo

Irish toddler recovering well after lifesaving trial surgery in New York


Liam Heffernan Photo by: Home photo

The parents of toddler Liam Heffernan, who underwent pioneering surgery in New York on Tuesday, say their son is recovering well.

Posting on Facebook, Liam’s father Tony wrote  yesterday: “Liam is back in ICU, check up after post surgery MRI! in reasonable form, Doctors very happy though so fingers crossed he will transfer to normal ward!”

The 2-year-old from County Kerry suffers from a rare neuro-degenerative condition known as Battens Disease.

On Tuesday he underwent a complicated gene transfer procedure at Weill Cornell University Hospital in New York.

His parents, Tony and Mary Heffernan said that their only son is expected to spend four weeks under the supervision of his medical team in New York, before returning home to Kerry in early June, in time for World Batten’s Day.
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The toddler’s family are hopeful his tiny body will accept the genes as this is his only chance of survival. He is the youngest ever participant in the trial.

His surgery last Tuesday took place exactly 15 weeks after his 5-year-old sister Saoirse died from the same rare illness.

The family will be returning to New York again in early July and again in August for further follow up procedures to see if the surgery is successful.

Tony and Mary have set up the “Bee is for Battens” foundation to raise awareness and support those affected by the disease.



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