Condition of transplant girl, aged 5, is critical

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LAURA DAVIES, the five-year-old British girl who was flown to the United States for a life-saving bowel and liver transplant last year, was in a critical condition last night after suffering severe rejection and infection problems.

Laura, from Eccles, Greater Manchester, was on a ventilator and heavily sedated in the intensive care unit at the Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, where the transplant was carried out in June last year. Her condition has been deteriorating since late last month.

Margaret LeMasters, a hospital spokeswoman, said her conditioned worsened on Sunday and she was drifting in and out of consciousness.

'She is experiencing a rejection upset with her bowel. She is getting new anti-rejection drugs and will be kept on them for the next few days,' she said.

Laura's father, Les, said in Pittsburgh last night: 'We've seen her pull through some bad times, but she is nearly as ill now as in the autumn of 91 when she was in intensive care at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital for eight weeks. That was the illness that destroyed her liver in the first place.'

He and his wife, Fran, are with Laura in the intensive care unit while relatives look after the couple's two other children, aged three and seven months.

(Photograph omitted)