Shane, Mark and Megan Curtin return to Dublin hospital where they were born to pay tribute to their brother Colm who passed away after birth
Surviving quads return to celebrate 21st and pay tribute to their brother
BY NIALL O'CONNOR
THEY were born just minutes apart, weighing less than two pounds each.
But these three Dublin brothers and sister have grown up with someone missing -- a fifth sibling.
The Curtin family have paid an emotional visit to the hospital where three of the children were born and where a fourth, Colm, passed away.
In a story that touched hearts, parents Ann and Mark were given the devastating news in September 1992 that only three of their four quadruplets had survived being born premature.
The couple spent months in Coombe Hospital fearing that their remaining babies would also lose their battle for life.
Ann, who has returned to Dublin to celebrate the trio's 21st birthdays, told the Herald: "It's been very difficult for all of us. Although it was 21 years ago, Colm is still ours. We miss him every day.
"When we were told the news he had passed away, naturally we went into breakdown mode.
"But Mark and I were told that we might lose all of them. We had that hanging over us for so long, which was not easy.
"We'd love to have Colm here. But we know it wasn't meant to be. He would have had so many complications if he had lived. But he is never far from us and we always talk about him."
Since Colm's death, Ann has given birth to Ryan (12), who accompanied the family on the visit home. Yesterday, they went to the intensive care unit where the four quads were taken immediately after birth.
In an emotional reunion, they met five members of staff who treated the siblings.
"We can't ever repay them for what they did for Colm and all of us, Ann said. "They are incredible people."
The Curtins also paid a visit to Mount Jerome Cemetery, where Colm is buried alongside his grandmother. Triplet Shane said he, his brother Mark and sister Megan had all got tattoos in memory of Colm. "We will never forget him," he added. (The tattoos) remind us of him."
The siblings have carved out new lives for themselves and are enjoying down under.
"Australia is the place to be," Shane said. "We're doing well. While we have had our ups and downs, we're really happy.
"But Ireland will always be our home -- and we'll never lose our Dublin accents."