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Thursday 30 March 2017

Relieved parents welcome baby Henry home after two life-saving operations

Colin Gleeson

HE'S just four months old and already he has endured two life-saving operations on his heart.

Now he's been allowed to return home to his parents.

Baby Henry Bolger O'Daly suffers from a rare condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome -- where the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped.

Three major surgeries are required to treat the condition, and Henry has come through two of them already.

His third operation won't take place until he is three years old.

He had open-heart surgery when he was only three days old, and his tiny body swelled to three times its normal size after both of his operations.

His second operation was delayed by 24 hours when there were no beds in the Intensive Care Unit at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin.

Since his birth, Henry has spent just four weeks of his life at home, so his dad Cian O'Daly (28), who lives in Finglas in Dublin, is just delighted to have him back.

"He's home now and he's back to himself," Cian told the Irish Independent yesterday. "All we have to do now is get him to sleep through the night because we're all wrecked after it.

"I think it's because he was so used to being fed at any hour of the night by the nurses, and now it's difficult to get him out of that routine.

"He's doing well, all things considered. He's recuperating -- his wound is healing nicely and he's continued to put weight on at a really good rate. It's about keeping a very close eye on him now.

"He's settling in well though. He's on normal formula feed and we've also started to introduce solids like porridge and different purees.

"He's taken to them like a duck to water and put on loads of weight."

Routine

Cian said that it took Henry time to get used to the routines of daily life in a household.

"We've two dogs and a daughter so it took him a while to get used to life with dogs barking and his sister Emily (15 months) coming over to inspect him.

"It's taken him time to get used to the routine but he's coming on great now. He definitely seems to be settling in a bit more."

Henry is in and out of hospital every eight weeks for check-ups and he has a cardiology nurse who comes to his home to keep an eye on him in the meantime.

He still bears the scars of his two surgeries, but the long-term outlook is "very good", Cian says.

Irish Independent

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