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Monday 22 January 2018

Brave little Anthony home at last after 10-month hospital stay

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

A MOTHER and her young boy, who has a rare genetic disorder, finally got to go home last night after spending 10 months in Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin.

Janet Doyle brought her son Anthony Iannuchi (4) home to Sallynoggin, near Dun Laoghaire, after being constantly by his side during his time in hospital.

He will return to hospital today for tests and next Tuesday doctors will decide if he can stay home for good.

The Doyles are just one of 18 families who provide an insight into the highs and lows of Temple Street's daily routine after it opened its doors to TV3's cameras.

Janet explained her son was born at 29 weeks with the rare genetic disorder, Hallermann-Streiff syndrome, which affects his facial appearance and blocked his airways.

She hopes Anthony will soon be able to go to school and live a normal life.

She described as "absolutely horrendous" the effect on her family's life.

The mother of three, who gave up her job in a school to be by his side 24 hours a day, yesterday told how they were going to pick up his sister, Sandrina, from her school for a small celebration for her sixth birthday during their first night at home in 10 months.

"I'm looking forward to going home and sleeping in my own bed. I've never left the hospital -- maybe once or twice I went home," Janet said, after her sister Deirdre stepped in and took care of her youngest daughter for most of the past year.

She said they were looking forward to being a "normal family again" and would hopefully receive the all-clear to return home for good next week.

Janet, who lost her husband Antonio three years ago in a tragic fall at home and has another daughter Leanne (20), said the staff at the 155-bed hospital had become like "family" to her.

"We are in a two-bed ward at the moment and if the bed is not being used I can have a bed," she added.

John Doyle, head of portering services at the hospital, who threw a small going-home party for Anthony, said they were always "proud" to see them leave in good health.

TV3 producer Andrew Byrne spent six weeks filming 18 different families in the hospital for the series. The first episode of 'Temple Street Children's Hospital' will be shown on Thursday, June 9.

Around 126,000 children enter through the doors of Temple Street each year. It received €75m in HSE funding for this year, a drop of €4m on 2010, and it raises about €6m through fundraising each year.

Irish Independent

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