Cookies on Dublin People website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Dublin People website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
Hide Message
  • Northside West

Alannah’s mum calls for funding

Wednesday, 4th September, 2019 8:00am
Alannah’s mum calls for funding

Alannah has bounced back from her treatments but still needs constant care.

Alannah’s mum calls for funding

Alannah has bounced back from her treatments but still needs constant care.

View More Images

A NORTHSIDE mother whose daughter has spent seven years being treated at Children's Health Ireland (CHI) in Crumlin has called for more funding into paediatric research in Ireland.

Yvonne Berigan, from Finglas, made the call while telling the emotional story of daughter Alannah’s medical journey, which began shortly after she was born.

“Alannah was six-weeks-old when she was rushed to Crumlin Hospital with suspected heart failure.” Yvonne said.

“It was devastating as a mother watching her going from her usually happy and energetic self. It was difficult not to assume the worst.

“We were so relieved when it turned out to be less serious. She was monitored for the next few years and when she was two years old she needed a PDA device inserted in her heart to help the blood flow.”

Yvonne was thankful that her daughter’s health was being monitored in Crumlin, but when she was having a routine check-up after the surgery the doctor noticed another issue; her spleen was enlarged.

“That’s when we discovered our little girl had liver disease due to a blockage in her portal vein,” Yvonne said.

“This caused Alannah to develop varices, which are dilated blood vessels in the oesophagus that can be life-threatening if they rupture and bleed.

“We had to visit Crumlin every two months to get the varices banded. This was when small rubber bands were inserted and stopped the bleeding.

“She had to go under anaesthetic every time she had it done. It was so intense for her. She was only three and a half.”

Alannah travelled to King’s College in London in 2017, when she was six years old, to have meso-Rex shunt surgery. It’s a procedure to restore normal blood flow back to the liver in patients who have blockage of the portal vein outside of the liver.

They took a vein from Alannah’s neck and bypassed her liver. The surgery took nine hours.

“It was the longest day of my life, but it went so well and Alannah’s team in Crumlin were in constant contact with the hospital in London.” Yvonne said.

“It was a huge comfort to know that Crumlin was watching out for us, even when we weren’t in Dublin.

“We were flown back to Dublin and straight back to Crumlin Hospital where we spent one more week before getting home for Christmas.

“That was so special to get to spend Christmas at home after such a tough time.”

Yvonne also found out that Alannah is deaf in one ear and she had to go for an MRI. She was on RTÉ news last year to demonstrate how the MRI simulator in the hospital works so other children wouldn’t be afraid.

“It’s been a tough seven years.” Yvonne said.

“You’d never know to look at Alannah that anything was wrong so we had to explain to everyone that she had a very serious condition.

“The staff on St Michael’s Ward and St Joseph’s Ward, from the cleaners and porters to the specialists, were all amazing and did everything they could to make our stay as pleasant as possible. Alannah is with us today because of the incredible people in Crumlin.”

If you would like to support paediatric research that could help treat children in Ireland you can make a donation to the Children's Medical & Research Foundation at


Alannah has been in and out of hospital since she was just six-weeks-old.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here