The moment eight-year-old Caireann Gildea rushed to her mum “screaming that her head was exploding”, she changed the lives of up to five people.


The heartbroken family of an eight-year-old girl who died suddenly from a rare brain condition have taken comfort in the fact she may save up to five lives.

Kathleen Gildea’s life changed when her daughter Caireann Dawn Gildea came into the room one weekend “screaming that her head was exploding”.

Ms Gildea, who lives in the Melbourne suburb of Point Cook, said Caireann started struggling to breathe and turned blue very quickly.

The girl was rushed to the hospital but a scan revealed that she had suffered a ruptured arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in her brain stem and there was nothing that could be done.

“Our beautiful girl’s heart stopped beating. She was 8 and a half years old,” Ms Gildea said in a GoFundMe post.

“The silver lining, she saved three lives through organ donations. She would be proud of that and we knew that is what she would have wanted.”

Ms Gildea told that Caireann’s kidneys were donated to a man and a woman who had both been on dialysis for years. A teenage boy received her liver.

Two heart valves were also removed and are being stored for possible future transplantation, which means Caireann could eventually save five lives.

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