Page last updated at 11:03 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 12:03 UK

Family flies home for daughter's vital operation

Alan and Margaret-Ann Maxwell and their two daughters
The Maxwell family flew to Glasgow airport

A North Lanarkshire family spent four days at a US airport to ensure they got back in time for pioneering surgery to treat the youngest's rare illness.

Carmen Maxwell, three, will be operated on at Great Ormond Street Hospital for a rare condition that has left her with tumours all over her body.

Parents Alan and Margaret-Ann, of Dullatur, feared being stuck in the US because of the volcanic ash flight ban.

But the family have finally arrived in Glasgow on a flight from Orlando.

Mr Maxwell said: "We were due to fly back on Saturday.

"Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday we were kind of living at the airport."

His wife said their younger daughter had glomangiomatosis, and had tumours on her brain, eyes, neck, chest, arms, legs and feet.

We're very, very lucky to be back, because there are hundreds of people still there who couldn't get on the flight
Alan Maxwell
Father

Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital are due to treat her with a new surgical technique.

"Obviously we didn't want to miss that," Mrs Maxwell said.

"As well as reducing the tumours it'll reduce the pain. And that's very important, because it's a very, very painful condition."

Mrs Maxwell said the whole experience had been "very stressful".

Airline staff gave the family priority to make sure they could fly home in time for the hospital appointment.

"But you had to go up every day and remind them," Mr Maxwell said.

"If you hadn't done that, they'd have forgotten about you."

He added: "We're very, very lucky to be back, because there are hundreds of people still there who couldn't get on the flight."



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