Community in mourning after death of young transplant recipient
By Martina Nee
The community of Headford came together last night to take part in a special prayer service held in memory of Wiktoria Kubaczyk who after undergoing two liver transplants tragically passed away earlier this week.
A strong bond was formed between the people of Headford and the nine-year-old Polish girl after she fell seriously ill and in need of the life-saving surgery. With the help of major fundraising efforts in the local area, Wiktoria underwent two liver transplants in the UK last year, however, an infection developed and she lost her battle with the illness, passing away at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London on Tuesday afternoon.
The news has come as a shock to local people who had campaigned hard to raise funds and support Wiktoria’s parents, Mario and Anna Kubaczyk of Demesne, Headford.
They gathered at Headford Church last night at 10pm for the prayer service which lasted until midnight with Mass being held at 11.30pm.
It has been a long and difficult journey for Wiktoria’s parents, a journey which began when their only child was first rushed to University Hospital Galway in June. She was then transferred in July by the Air Corps from the military airfield Baldonnell to London where she underwent treatment.
When news spread about the expense of the treatment required, the local community got together to organise a number of fundraising campaigns, successfully raising almost €30,000 for Wiktoria and her family.
One fundraising campaign was set up by parents at Wiktoria’s school raising €24,000, while a concert was also organised by Matt Cunningham at Campbell’s Tavern, Cloughanover, last December, raising more than €1,500 in the process.
The fundraising effort proved to be a great support for Wiktoria’s parents who remained at their daughter’s bedside during her lengthy treatment which included a liver transplant at King’s College Hospital.
However, the initial donation proved unsuitable and a second liver transplant operation took place in October. Doctors had initially been positive about Wiktoria’s chances of recovery, describing her condition as stable before Christmas.
However, hopes of Wiktoria’s returning to Ireland to continue recovery at Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin were dashed when doctors grew increasingly concerned over the condition of her kidneys. It is understood that the kidneys had been adversely affected by prolonged use of a ventilator.
Wiktoria had been transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital in order to undergo a bone marrow transplant which was scheduled to take place today after a compatible donor was found in Germany.