THE IRISH mother of a baby girl has praised the Irish Coast Guard for their help in transporting her to Britain for a vital liver transplant.
On Saturday, Rescue 117 airlifted nine-month-old Sophie and her mum Sarah Bell to London from Dublin Airport to wait for a lifesaving liver operation at King’s College Hospital.
Mum Sarah has since taken to Facebook to thank the Irish Coast Guard for their help in getting her daughter to London safely, saying their hard work doesn’t “get recognised enough.”
"Irish Coast Guard transported myself and my baby girl from Dublin airport Friday morning to London Northolt,” she said.
"She is now in King's (College) Hospital where she is to wait for a liver transplant. The crew made us feel extremely safe and very much comfortable for our journey to London.”
She added: "We can't thank them enough for bringing us to London at such short notice. What they do is amazing and they don't get recognised enough for all the hard work they do."
Speaking to The Irish Post, Sophie’s mum said the Irish Coast Guard had offered to continue to help the family going forward.
“Sophie is coming back to Ireland on Friday as she is still waiting for her liver, luckily she is prioritised on the transplant list,” Sarah said.
“The Coast Guard are bringing us back to Dublin Airport in the morning to be transferred to Crumlin Children’s Hospital, until we get the call for her liver in London.
“They have offered to assist use again with our future travels as an air ambulance isn’t available.”
Following the transfer, the Irish Coast Guard shared their best wishes and said they were "delighted to be a part of this life altering operation".
Ms Bell added that it was “a big stress financially and emotionally” for Irish families to have to travel to Britain for crucial organ transplants, due to the lack of available transplant services at home.
As for Sophie, the little nine-month-old was left unperturbed by the experience of being flown hundreds of miles via helicopter.
“She slept for the entire ride,” mum Sarah said. “The crew made us feel so comfortable, we can’t thank them enough.”