Wave of support for baby Noah has been humbling, says dad
The family of baby Noah Doyle suffered a torrid Christmas as his father had to drive to Northern Ireland to get special feeding equipment because of delays to Noah's medical card.
But now the Doyles say they have been "humbled" by the goodwill and kindness they received since his situation was publicised.
Last week, Adam Doyle spoke out about the delay in Noah's application for a medical card being processed, and revealed that on Christmas Day he had driven from their home in Co Louth to Craigavon hospital to get special feeding tubes and syringes.
Noah is fed via a nasal-gastric (NG) tube and, even though Adam and his wife Rosemarie would reuse the equipment as much as possible, they found they had run out of supplies and were told none could be given to them without a medical card.
Since the story broke, many people got in contact with the family to offer support as well as to offer tubes and syringes.
"We sometimes think we have lost the sense of goodness, but it is still clearly there," said Adam. "It was very humbling for us. We know things won't be easy, it was just that we would have a wee bit of help so we can do all that we can do for Noah."
He confirmed Noah is scheduled for surgery at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin on Wednesday.
However, he and Rosemarie said they were aware there were other families with their own struggles.
Adam said there were other babies "with issues similar and worse than Noah, with parents having to struggle and fight to get the help these special little people need".
As well as being tube-fed, Noah has a list of conditions which will require ongoing medical care for the rest of his life. His genetic condition has yet to be formally diagnosed but it has left him with congenital heart disease, severe scoliosis, narrow air and food ways, kidney defects, and he has significant physical and intellectual developmental delays.
The family were told last week, five months after they applied for the card, and just hours after Adam wrote a hard-hitting Facebook post to Health Minister Leo Varadkar, that the medical card had been approved.
The HSE apologised for the delay. In a statement, it said, "There was an administrative delay in the processing of a medical card for baby Noah. A medical card was issued to him yesterday (30 Dec). The HSE has contacted baby Noah's father to apologise for the delay and for any distress the delay may have caused."
While Noah is due to have surgery to remove the NG tube and replace it with a PEG feed, meaning he will no longer need the syringes and tubes, Adam said "the level of goodness out there has been humbling".