'Miracle mum' is flying high
LESS than a year ago, she was technically dead.
But 'miracle mum' Catherine Curran was very much alive yesterday as she hoisted the Green Flag at her son's school.
The beaming 40-year-old mother of four proudly raised the third Green Flag awarded to St Sylvester's Infant School, Malahide, Co Dublin -- this year for its water conservation campaign.
Catherine made headlines after giving birth to a healthy baby boy in April despite being clinically dead for half an hour while she was pregnant.
She was without oxygen for 30 minutes and was given the last rites after suffering cardiac arrest due to sudden adult death syndrome in the early stages of her pregnancy last September.
Despite being left temporarily blind, paralysed and cognitively impaired Catherine made a full recovery following extensive rehabilitation therapy and her 'miracle baby' Matthew is thriving.
Six-year-old Mia Keane, from Malahide, who has also bravely battled adversity despite her tender years, was on hand to help Catherine hoist the flag.
The Junior Infants student was diagnosed with cancer of the kidney in December 2008, but has since made a full recovery.
Principal Sharon Dunne said the school was delighted to have both Mia and Catherine on hand to officiate at the ceremony.
"These two families have been through a terrible ordeal but thankfully there was a positive result," Ms Dunne said.
To Catherine, simply being at a school function where all four of her boys will attend, is a bit of a miracle itself after what she has been through.
"The whole thing seems like a dream but I couldn't have asked for anything better," she told the Irish Independent.
Catherine credits her strong Christian faith with helping her incredible recovery, as well as the prayers of many people, including her husband Gavin and their boys Daniel (7), Sean (4) and Padraig (3). "I'm doing very well and just trying to keep a low profile," she said.
But since the Irish Independent broke the story of her incredible rebound she meets well-wishers wherever she goes. "People come up to me that I don't know and say they can't believe I'm doing so well," she said.
Also at the ceremony yesterday was guest-of-honour Education Minister Mary Coughlan. "Achieving the standards necessary to be awarded a Green Flag is a significant undertaking by any school," she said.
"It's heartening to see the young people here at the St Sylvester's Infant School carrying out such a very important job in helping to secure the future of the environment," she said.
As part of the Green Schools Programme, St Sylvester's was awarded Green Flags in 2005 for its recycling efforts and in 2007 for energy conservation.