THE father of newborn twins whose mother died after birth has revealed his mixed emotions as he misses his partner but finds solace in his beautiful babies.
Carmel Sheridan (30) died on September 27 last in Dublin's Coombe Hospital from complications that arose during the delivery of premature twins.
Family are rallying around her partner, Gerard Martin, from Clondalkin, Dublin as he looks after the twins Luke and Carmel – named after her mother – and their 13-month-old sister Aoibhe.
Mr Martin, a plumber by trade, who is now concentrating on raising his three children, told how he was simply "devastated" since his partner's death.
His mother Anne – herself a grandmother of eight – has been helping out, along with all the family members, since the twins returned home from hospital this week.
"It has been very tough going, the twins are only back home and Gerard is back with me – he had to give up work to look after the kids," she said.
"The twins are eight weeks now and they weren't even due until December. It is a full-time job looking after them."
Mr Martin said the family were being kept busy caring for the twins and Aoibhe.
"We have gained so much and yet lost so much that our emotions are everywhere," he said.
He spoke of the excitement he felt as the babies were born and the utter devastation as his partner died. "There's no way to describe that," he said.
The entire community in Clondalkin has rallied around the babies and their family, with fundraisers for their late mother who is remembered as a "very bubbly person" who was "loved by everybody".
Carmel was originally from Co Mayo and her parents have also been travelling down to help and visit the children.
Ms Sheridan's death was one of two maternal deaths that occurred at the Coombe at the end of September.
The family are now waiting for a report from the coroner on her death, which they were told could take around five months.
A spokeswoman for the hospital, which delivers more than 9,000 babies a year, said it was committed to act in the "best interests of each of its patients at all times" but could not comment on individual cases.
Between 2005 and 2011 there were five maternal deaths recorded at the hospital out of 103,995 deliveries – resulting in a mortality rate of 0.005pc.
The deaths were not directly related to pregnancy.