Wednesday 26 November 2014

Why Reuben's parents will participate in hospital appeal

Reuben Clifford was just four days old, when he suddenly stopped breathing.

Within days of his arrival home from hospital last August, the new-born was back under medical care after his Mum Jen called the emergency services and dad Paul started CPR.

Within five minutes local fire brigade personnel arrived at the family home in Swords and took over as Reuben's anxious older brother Harry (3) looked on.

Reuben was quickly transferred to the care of Temple Street Children's Hospital, where he was initially place in an incubator in the Intensive Care Unit. Reuben remained in hospital for 16 weeks, until he was discharged on the December 4, 2013, just in time for Christmas.

Reuben, it emerged, has an inability to coordinate his breathing with his swallowing, so that when he was taking his bottle, some of the feed was going into his lungs.

As a result of this Reuben now has to be fed by a special tube, which bypasses his stomach and feeds him directly into his small bowel. Due to the high risk of choking, the the seven-month old is monitored and on oxygen 24-hours a day.

"I would describe Temple Street as like a second home to us," recalls Paul.

"We were there every day for four months. He was virtually getting one-on-one care – it was the fact that he was so prone to choking that they had to monitor him closely – and the staff were absolutely tremendous. Reuben was back in hospital again recently after his lung collapsed."He has to have 24/7 nursing care," explains Paul.

"We will definitely be helping out with the fundraising effort – we're very grateful for the continuing care provided by the staff at Temple Street to Reuben and we will certainly participate in the appeal."

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