Saturday 24 March 2018

Family's joy as toddler has first night at home

Liam Mac an tSaoi at home
Liam Mac an tSaoi at home
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

THE FAMILY of a toddler who has spent his entire life in hospital have told of their joy after their son was allowed sleep at home for the first time ever.

Liam Mac an tSaoi from Clonberne, Co Galway, has spent the past three-and-a-half years living in hospital wards. However, his delighted family have now been told that he will go home for good in less than seven weeks.

Liam spent his first night at home with his family last week and will come home for two nights this week after the trip was a complete success.

His mother Louise said the family were over the moon to finally have him sleeping at home.

"He's such a happy baby anyway but he was just so happy to be home. It's like he knew that's where he's meant to be. We got to tuck him into his bed that night; we'd never had the chance to do that before," said Louise.

Since transferring from Crumlin Children's Hospital to University Hospital Galway in January, Liam has been going from strength to strength.

"He's really good. We were told he would never be able to walk or talk but he's walking with his walking frame and he's humming the tune of 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'.

"He can use his speaking valve up to six hours now and it's lovely to hear him babbling away. He's got a few words like Ma and Da and I know he will talk," she added.

While the family were delighted to have Liam home, bringing him back to the hospital proved upsetting for everyone.

"When he saw the taxi he knew he was going back and he started to cry. As we took him back in he was putting his two arms out trying to stop us taking him back into the ward," said his mum.

Now Liam will continue to spend further nights at home, as medics phase out his discharge, which will be complete by June 7.

Liam will continue to receive around-the-clock care with the aid of night nurses and care assistants.

He suffers from a chronic lung disease and the very rare condition phenylketonuria.

Irish Independent

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