Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Brave Séanín fights on after lifesaving surgeries

After two long years of hospitalisations, research and fundraising, brave Belleeks woman Séanín Smith has finally undergone lifesaving surgery in America. The inspirational 23 year who suffers from a rare, debilitating condition known as Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) endured over two weeks of intense travel by boat and road to her Maryland destination where top Neurosurgeon Professor Fraser Henderson carried out vital Craniospinal and Tethered Cord Release surgeries.

Séanín’s life has dramatically changed since being diagnosed EDS.  The progressive and incurable disease affects the skin, joints and muscles causing frequent strokes and seizures as well as affecting vital organs. The medical interventions in the USA are her only hope and, as she is unable to fly due to her complex health issues, Séanín had no choice but to undertake the journey to America by boat.

Accompanied by her devoted parents, the travelling and preparation for surgery took its toll on Séanín with her fragile health suffering a number of setbacks as exhaustion and pain set in. Despite the upheavals, Séanín has shown her usual determination and following surgery on Tuesday and again on Friday, her family reported that she had been “amazingly strong” after undergoing two major operations in such close proximity.  After her first surgery on Tuesday Séanín was said to be in a great deal of pain throughout her body and was unable to take her usual medications due to being unable to swallow. Describing her as “a brave and inspiring young woman” her proud parents revealed she had not cried or complained in the face of such discomfort and pain.  In a further update on the Fight On Campaign for Séanín Facebook page after her second surgery on Friday her parents said,

“She has impressed Dr Henderson with her strength and bravery through it all! We are so proud of her! Keep up that fight Séanín!”

The Smith family have been overwhelmed by the messages of support and prayers that have been said for their daughter and have thanked everyone who helped to fundraise or participated in any way to help make her life saving surgery possible. They have asked everyone to continue to keep the determined young woman in their prayers in the weeks and months of recovery ahead.