Limavady mum’s search for doctor who saved her daughter’s life

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A Limavady woman is searching for the Northern Irish doctor who helped save her daughter’s life.

Hazel Patterson’s daughter Amy was just 18 months old when she was diagnosed with a rare spinal chord tumour.

Amy Patterson with her mum, Hazel at home this week. INLV4315-014KDR

Amy Patterson with her mum, Hazel at home this week. INLV4315-014KDR

Hazel and husband Trevor were left devastated when they were told there was nothing that could be done, but then came a breakthrough 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, who she believes is originally from Downpatrick, was working as a Senior Registrar at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital at the time, in 1996.

Several operations later and having battled a series of life threatening conditions, Hazel said Amy started to come round and recover and, eventually, the family was able to return home.

If I was to meet Gerry O’Reilly I would give him an amazing hug and say a massive ‘thank you’ because what Gerry and Mr Hockley have given us today is more precious than words can ever say.

Hazel Patterson

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

Sadly, said Hazel, Mr Hockley has passed away. Now she hopes to make contact with Gerry O’Reilly, who she believes is working in Yorkshire as a Consultant Neurosurgeon.

“If I was to meet Gerry O’Reilly I would give him an amazing hug and say a massive ‘thank you’ because what Gerry and Mr Hockley have given us today is more precious than words can ever say. We would love to see him and chat to him and say a very big ‘thank you’ and let him see the result of their surgical intervention and see our beautiful daughter who is as beautiful inside as she is outside.

As for Amy, if she gets to meet Gerry O’Reilly, she said: “It’s bizarre because I don’t remember any of it, but if I met Gerry I’d say a massive ‘thank you’ to him.”

Amy when she was in Birmingham Children's Hospital.

Amy when she was in Birmingham Children's Hospital.

See Friday’s ‘Journal’ for full story.