A wonderful 16-year-old Kilkenny girl is in the intensive care unit of Great Ormond Street Children’s hospital in London following a last minute dash across the Irish Sea for a successful heart transplant.
Joanne Connolly from Goresbridge has been sick for the last four years and had been on a waiting list for the transplant. She has not been home to the Kilkenny village where she lives for over four months. She was rushed from Crumlin’s Children Hospital, Dublin to London on Tuesday and had the 14 hour life saving surgery yesterday afternoon.
So far things are going well. Her dedicated mother, Elaine is with her as she has been throughout her illness.
A few days before her operation, Joanne received a tweet from Victor Beckham telling her she was a beautiful bunny and this pleased her very much.
Transition year coordinator at Kilkenny city’s all Irish secondary school, Coláiste Pobail Osraí, Mrs Mary Sloyan, where Joanne has been a student for the last four years, said the thoughts and prayers of the school and all of Kilkenny were with Joanne and her family. She said Joanne had been a joy to teach and blessed with a beautiful singing voice.
Joanne has always been hugely positive about the future and plans to fulfil her dream of becoming an opera singer by studying for a degree in vocal performance. She love Maria Callas and is studying with Virginia Kerr of the Royal Irish Academy of Music at Ronald McDonald House, adjacent to the Crumlin hospital where she receives the lessons.
Joanne’s late father John also had degenerative heart problem and had a heart transplant also.