Emotional reunion for Limavady mum and the doctor who saved her daughter’s life

Gerry O'Reilly Consultant Neurosurgeon with Amy Patterson 21 years after he helped save her life. INLV0416-210KDR Photo: Ken Reay
Gerry O'Reilly Consultant Neurosurgeon with Amy Patterson 21 years after he helped save her life. INLV0416-210KDR Photo: Ken Reay
0
Have your say

A Limavady woman has enjoyed an emotional reunion with the doctor who helped save her life 21 years ago.

Amy’s parents, Hazel and Trevor were left devastated when they were told there was nothing that could be done.

“Amy was as ill as any child could possible be, sent home to die,” said mum, Hazel.

A breakthrough came from surgeon Tony Hockley who said he thought he could help the tot.

It was at Birmingham Children’s Hospital where the family then met Gerry O’Reilly who operated on Amy with Mr Hockley. Hazel said Gerry, from Downpatrick, was working as a Senior Registrar at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital at the time, in 1996.

Recently turned 21, and in her final year at the University of Ulster Jordanstown where she is studying Language and Linguistics, Amy is living life to the full.

Mr Hockley has sadly passed away but, late last year, Hazel made an appeal through the ‘Journal’ to make contact with Gerry O’Reilly, who works at Spire Hull and East Riding Hospital in Yorkshire as a Consultant Neurosurgeon.

The appeal worked and contact was subsequently made with Gerry O’Reilly.

“They were very dark days and Gerry walked that journey with us,” said Hazel.

On Friday, the family finally got to meet Gerry at their home in Myroe.

“It’s absolutely amazing to meet him after all these years,” said Hazel, “and to be reunited.”

Gerry O’Reilly said the reunion was a “surreal occasion”.

“It was a wonderful occasion, just beautiful, and the years just rolled back meeting Trevor and Hazel, and Amy is a beautiful young woman,” said Gerry. “They were difficult days, so this has been wonderful; happy days today.”

Full story in Tuesday’s ‘Journal’.

Read more on this story here: www.derryjournal.com/news/limavady-couple-reunited-with-hero-doctor-21-years-after-life-saving-surgery-1-7018062