Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley says goodbye to 6 year old Olivia Quigley after visiting her at Brighton’s Franciscan Hospital for Children March 27. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy
BRIGHTON -- Several days after suffering a heart attack in her East Boston Catholic school in mid-February, doctors told the parents of 6 year old Olivia Quigley that she “might live” -- and that was the good news.
You might never guess that was the same vivacious little girl who met with Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley and smiled for news cameras during a March 27 reception at Brighton’s Franciscan Hospital for Children celebrating the fact that Olivia was finally ready to go home after six weeks of hospitalization.
Olivia collapsed suddenly Feb. 13 while playing in the gym of East Boston Central Catholic School (EBCC), where she is in 1st grade.
Trained in CPR, teachers Robert Casaletto and Kathleen Carabine moved quickly, resuscitating her until EMTs arrived to bring her to the hospital.
Olivia spent two-and-a half weeks at Massachusetts General Hospital before being transferred to the Franciscan Hospital for Children for an additional three-and-a half weeks of monitoring and rehabilitation therapy sessions.
Doctors are still unsure what caused Olivia’s heart to stop beating, but have taken measures to prevent future problems.
“She has a pacemaker inserted, so in the likelihood that this ever happens again, the pacemaker will pick up and beat for her,” said Dr. Varuna Tuli, a pediatric specialist at the Franciscan Hospital.