‘Ella’s Journey’: Seriously ill Roscommon girl requires pioneering treatment in the UK

Over €72,000 has been raised for a seriously ill Roscommon town girl in the hope of sending her to the UK for vital treatment.

15-year-old Ella Donlon, from The Walk, has been in Crumlin Children’s Hospital for over four months now, having been diagnosed with Gastroparesis and related dysmotility and digestive issues.

Ella’s father, James, says Ella can’t eat or drink anything orally and is now reliant on intravenous fluids to give her the nutrition she needs. Her family have engaged with a leading consultant in the UK in order to get her the treatment she so badly needs.

“The Gastrointestinal consultant in the UK agreed just last Saturday that he would take Ella’s case on. Our aim now is to get her to the UK as quickly as possible,” he said.

  Ella’s illness stems from an underlying health condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a rare disease caused by a collagen deficiency that results in defective connective tissue throughout the body.

Ella has had many difficulties arising from the condition, particularly around hypermobility issues, and uses special crutches, walking sticks, and a wheelchair to get around.

While her medical needs had been met up until recently, Crumlin Children’s Hospital does not have the range of assessments and treatments required in order to address her most severe symptoms, which have life-changing implications.

Pioneering treatment in the UK has proven successful in a number of such cases and Ella’s family hope that she too will experience a similar outcome.

  A GoFundMe page which was created just last week has already received €72,597 in donations. It is hoped to reach the target of €100,000 in the coming days, and a number of fundraising events have been planned by local groups.

James says Ella’s family are extremely grateful for the show of support from both near and far.

“Ella and the whole family have overwhelmed by the support and we want to thank everyone for their kindness. People have been so good and the response to this has just been amazing. The good thing is that there is hope for Ella and this pioneering treatment in the UK has worked in other cases. We are just hoping to get her over there as soon as possible,” James said.

Donations to help Ella make this life-changing journey to the UK can be made at https://uk.gofundme.com/f/c49sh-ellas-journey.