The Buzz Blog - News
Liam Heffernan (2), from Castledrum, Keel, Castlemaine, in Co Kerry, has been invited to participate in a pioneering second generation human medical trial which has recently commenced at the prestigious Weill Cornell University Hospital in New York.
The invitation for Liam has come exactly 9 weeks after his sister Saoirse (5) passed away is her parent’s arms from the same and very rare, fatal disorder, Late Infantile Battens Disease. The family, who just returned from the New York facility last week, received the good news by phone yesterday evening, stating that Liam had successfully met the strict criteria to allow his participation in the trial.
Liam, (2), the only other child of Bee For Battens Founders, Tony and Mary Heffernan, will be the youngest ever child to receive the pioneering brain surgery, which involves the drilling of six (6) holes in Liam’s skull to allow the gene transfer treatment to be administered to twelve locations in Liam’s brain.
Since the trial began in August 2010, only three children worldwide, all of whom are American, have received the gene transfer. The trial coordinators have recently gained permission from the US federal authorities to treat Liam following their application to reduce the participation age below the 3-year-old minimum age requirement.