9 March 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Veronica Corr

“I don’t believe in miracles anymore.” These were the poignant words of Damian Ryczan, after he found out that his daughter Amelia, who suffers from Battens Disease, would not be able to receive a life-prolonging operation in the United States.
The Polish family now living in Foxfield, Carrickmacross, were devasted by the news that the procedure their four year-old daughter was due to undergo, which involved the drilling of holes into her skull, was no longer an option.
Amelia, her mother Tamara and a family friend, flew to America on February 20th, a week in advance of the operation, which was scheduled for February 28th.
A few days before departure, Amelia’s bloods were taken in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, whereupon she was deemed fit to travel and undergo the procedure.
However, just a half an hour before Amelia was due to go into theatre in the New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center, the operation was cancelled.
Her father Damian revealed that this was the second time this had happened. He was hopeful that Amelia, who is quite ill at the moment, would get better, but he wasn’t sure what more medical science could do for her.
However, the hospital has pledged to keep the family informed if there are advances in medical science that Amelia might benefit from.
The charity Bee for Battens has also agreed to sponsor Amelia, should a new treatment become available to her.
It transpired that the reason the operation couldn’t go ahead was because Amelia’s blood had thinned, which meant that she could have hemorrhaged on the operating table.
The results of her pre-op blood tests were deemed conclusive, as Amelia’s tests were analysed by more than one of the hospital’s labs.
Amelia is back at home in Foxfield with her adoring parents and brother Adrian. She celebrates her fifth birthday next week.
The Ryczan family would like to take this opportunity to thank the community of Carrickmacross for their unwavering support, every individual and organisation that made donations and the Bee for Battens charity, without whom the trip would not have been possible.

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