Brave girl who’s spent a year in hospital waiting for lifesaving new heart finally gets to build a snowman

While schools closed and the country battened down the hatches against the freezing weather, one little girl was delighted at the arrival of the snow.

Little Holly Carroll had never seen snow before, and unlike most children her age, was unable to go outside and enjoy it.

Not that this stopped the brave youngster from getting to build her very own snowman.

Holly, three, from Tipperary, Ireland was taken out of bed and to the window by the nurses at Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin, to gaze at the snowy landscape left by Storm Emma.

It was the nurses who brought the snow to Holly, something her mum Jessica O’Mahoney describes as “a bittersweet moment.”

“It made our little girl the happiest little girl in the world,” Jessica tells MirrorOnline.

“She had great fun making a snowman and snowballs and firing them.

“It was a bittersweet moment because she should be at home like any other little three-year-old out playing in it but because of the harsh reality of her very poor heart it wasn’t possible.

“But she didn’t miss out on it and it was a experience none of us will ever forget – and we are forever grateful.”

Holly has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart.

She has spent the last 11 months of her life in hospital, waiting for the heart transplant she so desperately needs.

For each and every day, her parents have been by her side.

Holly’s condition, where the the left side of the heart does not form correctly during pregnancy, was only detected after she was born.

“She was struggling. She was blue and lifeless and went to the special care unit where they thought she had wet lung syndrome from being a sectioned baby,” Jessica explains.

Over the first few hours of her life, Holly’s condition deteriorated so badly, Jessica and her partner, Jamie, called their families and baptised her before she was moved to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin.

Since that day, family life has largely been dictated by Holly’s needs.

Before her first stage surgery, she became very sick. So much so, her mum reveals they feared she would not make it.

But Holly fought back, though her recovery was long. “She finally got home after a few months on lots of medications and nasogastric (NG) tube feeding,” Jessica recalls.

At just eight months old she was back in hospital for her second stage surgery, which this time she luckily “flew through” – and was home within a week.

Holly seemed to be rallying, and was doing well.

Then around the time of her second birthday, Jessica noticed she was becoming more tired, was turning more and more blue and was losing her appetite.

After a routine check-up last January, Jessica and Jamie were dealt the devastating news that Holly’s heart was getting tired.

More medication was prescribed, but then in April they were told Holly was not suitable for her next stage surgery and her only option now was a heart transplant.

“We were absolutely terrified and heartbroken.”


Holly was then admitted to Our Lady’s Hospital, and her parents flew to Great Ormond Street to be assessed for a transplant and told about what it involved.


Holly went on the active transplant list two weeks later.


Eleven months later, and Holly is still waiting on her new heart.


“Holly badly needs her new heart and needs it now and is running out of time, I wish organ donation wasn’t a choice because it could save so many people’s lives.


“I know how hard it is for any parent to hand over their child’s organs but so many kids and adults need organs and it’s something to always know, a part of your child is keeping another child alive and that is something you can forever be grateful of.”’


We SpitzeNews, wishes that she may have her surgery soon along with blessings of fast recovery!


Don’t give up Holly!