After three long years of hospital life, little Liam finally gets to go home
HE has spent all of his short life in Crumlin Hospital, undergone several life-saving operations and received special visits from Santa Claus and Hollywood actor Colin Farrell.
But little Liam Mac An tSaoi will be at the dinner table with his family in Galway within a month after funding was finally approved for a home-care package.
Three-year-old Liam woke up yesterday to find Santa had visited with toys and a framed photo of his family, including mum Louise, dad Sean and big brothers Fiachna and Cormac.
Louise said the news that Liam will be at home with them in Galway next Christmas is "a terrific ending to the most horrific three years of our lives".
She said Liam was delighted with his presents.
Liam was born prematurely at 23 weeks in 2010 and weighed only 14 ounces.
He has undergone 15 operations and needs round-the-clock care as he suffers from chronic lung disease and is fed via a tube.
He has never been home for Christmas because of the lack of funding for a care package.
According to Louise, it costs €500,000 a year to keep Liam in Crumlin, but €180,000 would provide care in the home. She highlighted his plight on RTE Radio's 'Liveline' earlier this month, and within weeks the funding was approved.
Liam will be moved to hospital in Galway by January 6 and home to Clonbern by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, his family have enjoyed their first Christmas dinner outside the Crumlin canteen in four years after a 'Liveline' listener provided them with the use of her house for the days they are in Dublin.
She said that staff at Crumlin do their best to ensure that the children enjoy Christmas saying: "Santa comes on Christmas Eve and leaves presents for the children.
"We have a little Christmas tree in Liam's room with a few decorations to make it Christmasy and homely."
Colin Farrell has visited Liam three times in hospital over the years in the isolation ward, with Louise saying that the actor makes a special effort to visit him.
And, although grateful, Louise said: "Colin, as much as I love seeing you, I hope I don't see you next year."
She thanked the hospital, saying: "Liam wouldn't be as good as he is today only for his nurses and surgeons."