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Friday 22 March 2019

'I was too afraid to let myself love him in case he died' – mum shares story of son’s journey with kidney surgery

Jessica Bergin from Ballyboughal in Dublin has praised the staff at Crumlin hospital for saving her son Roman's life, and has called for more public investment into paediatric research
Jessica Bergin from Ballyboughal in Dublin has praised the staff at Crumlin hospital for saving her son Roman's life, and has called for more public investment into paediatric research

A mother has paid tribute to nurses and doctors who "adored and cared" for her little boy when he was born a life-threatening kidney condition.

Jessica Bergin from Ballyboughal, Dublin said that she was "too afraid" to love her little boy Roman in case he died. But staff at Crumlin Hospital battled to save his life

Jessica said that everything was running smoothly with her first pregnancy until she had her 20 week scan.

“I found out that the baby’s bladder wasn’t emptying properly and as a result fluid was traveling back into his kidneys and damaging them," she said.

Little Roman is two-years-old now
Little Roman is two-years-old now
Jessica Bergin from Ballyboughal in Dublin has praised the staff at Crumlin hospital for saving her son Roman's life, and has called for more public investment into paediatric research

"His kidneys were monitored throughout the whole pregnancy and I knew that when he was born he was going to be brought to Crumlin Hospital.”

Jessica explained that when Roman was born his kidneys were in bad shape. She was prepared for the worst and knew he would be in danger once he was born.

She admitted that she was "too afraid to let myself love him in case he died".

“Things looked more stable than originally thought when he was born but I was constantly afraid," she said.

"The nurses and doctors in Crumlin Hospital were amazing. They adored and cared for him from the second he arrived through their doors.

"They didn’t just look after him, they took care of me too in ways that I will forever be grateful to them for.

"When Roman was about a week old a nurse came to see me at around midnight and she asked me why I wouldn’t hold him as often as I could and for the first time since finding out about his problems, I admitted that I was too afraid to let myself love him in case he died.

"I was terrified to get attached."

"She spent the next hour explaining every part of Romans condition, the present and long term implications, then she finished by telling me that he was not going to die," she added.

"Those words were the biggest relief any mother can hear! From that moment on things could only look brighter."

Roman's life was saved by staff at Crumlin Children's Hospital
Roman's life was saved by staff at Crumlin Children's Hospital

Jessica said that the family are lucky that Roman only had one kidney infection in the last year and that his hospital stays have been very limited considering his condition.

"Looking at him you wouldn’t think there was anything wrong with him. He had surgery to create a stoma on his bladder which takes the pressure off his kidneys and bladder, giving them a chance to heal," she said.

"He had a scan recently and we know his kidneys are growing, which is a great sign.

"Originally we believed the best case scenario was 30pc kidney capacity for life and a kidney transplant down the line but a consultation at six months showed that he has already reached 60pc kidney function.

"Roman is the strongest, cheekiest, happiest little boy in the whole world regardless of his condition. I want him to have the same opportunities as every other kid his age.

"He’s two now and he is the best thing that has ever happened to me and so, so many other people.”

Jessica has called for more public investment into paediatric research. CMRF Crumlin supported Jessica and her son Roman during their stay at Crumlin hospital. CMRF Crumlin raises vital funds for Crumlin hospital and the National Children’s Research Centre (NCRC).

“Research into children’s health is so important. Children should never be born sick but unfortunately they are. Research means that hopefully one day this will not be the case. It’s so important for our children so they can live and grow without worry or illness," she said.

To donate to CMRF, go to https://cmrf.org/donate

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