Independent ie | Eilish O'Regan
Luke Martindale (11) of Dromahaire, Co Leitrim, needed an urgent liver transplant in King's College Hospital in London - but he became so unwell that doctors, who had a suitable organ to give him, could not operate because he would not survive.
However, medics experimented by hooking him up to an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine which supports the heart and lungs when a patient's own organs start to fail.
It proved a miracle for Luke, who was able to buy time and within two hours he was strong enough to have the transplant.
It was the first time that the powerful technology was used in this way and doctors now hope it will also help other patients who might otherwise die on the waiting list before getting a liver. Continue reading