Three-year-old Cork girl, Megan Malone, has started walking by herself for the first time in months following live-saving treatment for a rare brain tumor in New York.
Megan, from Cill na Marta, Macroom, Cork, has taken her first steps on the road to recovery at New York’s Presbyterian Hospital. After family and friends, along with a generous anonymous donor, created a fund to pay for her treatment Megan along with her family travelled to New York.
The Malone family had been out of options as the specialist treatment Megan needed is unavailable in Ireland. Although the treatment was tough on the three-year-old, her family are delighted with the news that Megan can now walk by herself.
Megan had spent a few days with her family in their temporary home in the New York suburb of Yonkers. Her father John brought Megan to hospital for a check up. While they were in the examination room Megan walked across the room.
Her mother, Sheila, spoke to the Irish Examiner. She said “It was the most amazing day, a day I thought would never happen. John took her to the hospital for her check-up and while they were there she walked across the room. I couldn’t believe it when John told me."
Unfortunately during the examination they discovered that Megan’s immunity had dropped to zero and the child was forced to undergo a blood transfusion. However, she was back with her family by Monday night.
Sheila continued “They were home at 6.30pm but when she got in we didn’t ask her to walk as we didn’t want to be exhausting her but she said ‘look at me, I can walk,’ and she walked off across the sitting room. I couldn’t believe it, it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.
"She is so delighted with herself, the world is now at a different level to what it was. Megan walked around to each of the bedrooms opening wardrobes, saying ‘what’s that’ about everything. She will be going back into the hospital on Thursday for more chemo but she will be back out again for Christmas."
On October 15 2010 Megan was diagnosed with a rare cancerous brain tumor called sPNET medullablastoma. Her parents had realized that something was wrong when she started loosing her balance and vomiting. She eventually lost the ability to walk completely.
She was given a 20 percent chance of survival had she stayed in Ireland but American doctors said that their program had a 50/50 chance of working. Doctors in America told the Malones that Megan should come for treatment as soon as possible as she would live for no more than three to four weeks without it.
The entire Malone family including Megan’s siblings Chloe, Dylan and two-month-old Tristan, left Ireland on December 2.
The Megan Malone trust has already received more than €150,000 to help cover the family’s costs. Also it was confirmed earlier this month that an anonymous donor has offered to pay for Megan’s medical treatment.