Elie's Boston stay likely months

[caption id="attachment_68371" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Elie Madden, her sister Emie and parents Eddie and Esti."]


Little Elie Madden will likely be calling Boston home for months, perhaps six or more.

The year-old tot was flown to Boston from Dublin last week for treatment at Boston Children's Hospital for a rare medical condition that has made her first year of life about as difficult as one can imagine.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

Elie and her family arrived in Boston's Logan airport on board an Irish Air Corps Gulfstream jet. Elie is a twin.

Her sister Emie is healthy. Elie, by contrast, now faces complex treatment because her Oesophagus is not connected to her stomach. The medical term for her rare condition is Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula with Long Gap Oesophageal Atresia.

This means she cannot swallow and is facing all manner of complications as a result. Elie, who was born premature, also suffered complications with her Aorta, but doctors in Ireland cured the problem.

Nevertheless, the first indications of her prospects are that she faces a difficult few months ahead as her underlying condition appears even more serious than first thought.

Elie will receive her treatment in Boston's Oesophageal Advanced Treatment Center which uses the Foker technique. This procedure, if successful, will allow Elie's oesophagus to be repaired rather than replaced.

The procedure is the closest thing to a full cure and will give Elie a quality of life that has thus far eluded her.

Elie could not fly on a commercial plane. So the Air Corps stepped in with its air ambulance service.

Elie's dad, Eddie, is a Dublin native. Her mother, Esti, is Polish. The Maddens live in the Dublin suburb of Glasnevin.

The family has set up a website, www.elie madden.com, which explains Elie's condition, and what is needed for successful treatment.

Elie and Emie were born by emergency caesarean and Elie had to spend the first nine months of her life at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Dublin.

She constantly has a tube in her throat to stop her trachea collapsing and is fed through a peg into her stomach. She regularly needs a ventilator to clear her airways, and has undergone a number of heart operations.