Tuesday 27 September 2016

Children's hospital honour 'little heroes' with heart-warming memory book

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 07/05/2016 | 12:21

Crumlin Big Book of Memories. Photo: crumlinmemories.ie
Crumlin Big Book of Memories. Photo: crumlinmemories.ie
Crumlin Big Book of Memories. Photo: crumlinmemories.ie
Crumlin Big Book of Memories. Photo: crumlinmemories.ie
Crumlin Big Book of Memories. Photo: crumlinmemories.ie
Rob Kearney launched the Crumlin Big Book of Memories campaign. Photo: CMRF Crumlin

An online book documenting some of the saddest and happiest days of young children's lives has been launched by Our Lady's Children's Hospital.

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The Crumlin Big Book of Memories hopes to record the stories of anyone who has been part of the hospital’s 60-year history.

150,000 children attend the hospital every year from all over the country, and the website invites hospital workers, donors, past patients and their loved ones to add a chapter to the virtual memory book.

The website reads: “From broken bones to broken hearts, we want to honour every little Crumlin hero.”

Crumlin Big Book of Memories. Photo: crumlinmemories.ie
Crumlin Big Book of Memories. Photo: crumlinmemories.ie

People have already begun to share touching stories on the site.

Adrienne Sinnott posted a heart-breaking story about her daughter Eva, who was born with a chromosome disorder.

“We had 6 months and 7 days with our little Eva thanks to the wonderful care of the doctors and nurses in both Waterford and in Crumlin,” she wrote.

“We cherish the time we were honoured with to spend with our beautiful little angel.”

Crumlin Big Book of Memories. Photo: crumlinmemories.ie
Crumlin Big Book of Memories. Photo: crumlinmemories.ie

Another parent, Nicola, recalled a horrific night in May 1999 when her 4-year-old son Dylan was hit by a car while he was out playing.

“He died in the ambulance but thank God they managed to bring him back to me,” she wrote.

“I always remember the doctor taking us into the parents' room and telling us Dylan had 24 hours to live. He had suffered a fractured skull among other injuries. My whole world crumbled that night.

“Dylan is now 21 and has made a full recovery, thank God. It was a scary night, the worst of my life, but thanks to the staff of Crumlin my baby boy survived.”

Crumlin Big Book of Memories. Photo: crumlinmemories.ie
Crumlin Big Book of Memories. Photo: crumlinmemories.ie

She added: “I am so proud of him. He always will be my little soldier.”

There are also some great memories from years past, such as Ethan Doogan-Ballantine’s adorable photo with his favourite nurse.

A post from Thomas Stewart recalled having his tonsils taken out in 1959.

“My mother used to tell me I made the nurses laugh by combing my hair with a toothbrush.

Rob Kearney launched the Crumlin Big Book of Memories campaign. Photo: CMRF Crumlin
Rob Kearney launched the Crumlin Big Book of Memories campaign. Photo: CMRF Crumlin

“Eventually I worked there in the 90s on contract work in the boiler house,” he added.

The Crumlin Big Book of Memories campaign was launched by rugby hero and CMRF Crumlin ambassador Rob Kearney.

Members of the public are also invited to donate to the campaign online, to fund renovations to the Outpatients Department and refurbishment of the Nazareth Ward, which treats the youngest and most seriously ill babies.

A portion of the funds will also be used to purchase new equipment for cancer detection and cystic fibrosis detection, as well as cardiac echo machines.

For more information, visit www.crumlinmemories.ie.

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