independent

Thursday 24 April 2014

Children's unit is a rock for our family

DRIVE FOR €1.5M UPGRADE AT OUTDATED CHILDREN'S UNIT AT CUH

A FAMILY from Nadd who has walked in and out of the revolving doors at CUH on countless occasions are firmly backing a charity fundraising drive in an attempt to raise €1.5 million to refurbish the Children's Unit.

Michelle O'Shea has nothing but praise for the staff at CUH who, she said, have been a rock to her family, since her son, Jack, was born.

Jack, now five years old, has been diagnosed with Russell Silver Syndrome, which means he has poor growth.

Michelle explained that despite Jack being five years old he is still wearing clothes for a child aged one to one-and-a-half.

Jack had to have an operation at CUH when he was 16 months old as his right kidney was bigger than his left. The surgeon had to realign the shape so that both were on the same side.

In addition, Jack also has hypoglycaemia, which means his sugar level drops.

But despite all the trips from Nadd to CUH over the years, she described her little boy as "a happy go lucky young man without a care in the world".

As Michelle and her husband Sean, along with son Darren (16) have been in and out of CUH so much, they are on a first name basis with the staff there.

"I really have lost count of the amount of times I've walked in the door of CUH, but each time the staff have just been unbelievable and so supportive of us. It is a huge weight off a parent's mind when you do get that support," she said.

In particular, she thanked nurse Rose Morrissey, who has taken bloods from Jack so often, along with Dr Stephen O'Riordan and Susan O'Connell.

"I want to thank each and every staff member who have helped us. They are doing a terrific job on a daily basis," she said.

Michelle, who is originally from Mallow but has been living in Nadd for eight years, said if the €1.5 million was raised to upgrade the chilidren's unit it would make a huge difference to the children, staff and parents who use the unit every day.

Dr David Mullane, head of the hospital's paediatric dept said a major development is now underway to allow the Children's Unit and the Children's Leukaemia/Cancer Unit from the Mercy University Hospital relocate to CUH.

"This single centre for children will provide an extensive range of specialist services for children of the greater Munster region," he added.

"While funding has been secured for the extension, we need to raise €1.5 million to refurbish the inpatient facilities in the Children's Unit. The current facilities were built in the 1970s and need updating."

The Children's Unit at CUH provides care to children from two days old to 16 years of age. Each year, 7,500 children are admitted to the Children's Unit at CUH.

For further information on how people, businesses or schools can support this appeal please contact Joe Browne at joe@cuhcharity.ie or by phone 021 4234529.

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