Neven talks about wife's heart failure
Chef's partner ill after twins' birth
TELEVISION chef Neven Maguire yesterday spoke for the first time of his wife Amelda's heart failure after she gave birth to their twins.
Amelda was suddenly struck ill a week ago some days after giving birth to the couple's first children, Connor and Lucia, on February 8 in Sligo General Hospital.
Neven said: "Amelda went downhill very suddenly last Sunday evening. The hospital told me what it was but I can't pronounce it, but they said it was heart failure.
"It is a hormonal thing. She really couldn't breathe, she was very sick. One midwife told me it was 15 years since she last dealt with that kind of complaint.
"Thank God she was in the Sligo hospital. They reacted so quickly and Amelda is recovering quite well. She was very lucky. I will know on Monday when she is getting out."
Doctor's told Neven that Amelda's difficulty was that she developed cardiomyopathy -- a condition where the heart has become enlarged and its muscle does not pump as well as normal.
"Now, Amelda and the twins are doing really well. Wow! Life does not get any better. I hope to have them all home next week."
Amelda was expected to leave hospital with the twins several days ago until she became ill.
Neven returned to his restaurant in Blacklion, Co Cavan to help with last week's Sunday lunch but when he returned to the hospital that afternoon Amelda became ill.
He said: "We were all in a shock, it was so sudden. I was so upset."
It was the second worry linked to the twins' birth.
The babies were separated, and Lucia was in a special care unit, for a number of days after their birth. But they have been together for most of last week and on Friday night Neven was able to take the first picture of all four with his camera phone.
The 38-year-old, a twin himself, said: "Lucia at just under six pounds, was a pound lighter than Connor when they were born. They were about four weeks premature and Lucia didn't really take to the bottle. "That's why she was put into special care, to build herself up and get used to the bottle."
Although Amelda is still on special medication and being monitored by hospital staff, Neven, who was able to return to work yesterday, hopes she will be allowed home with the twins early this week.
"I knew Amelda was 'the one,' and she's the most thoughtful and considerate person you could ever meet."
Neven is from Blacklion in Co Cavan, where his celebrated restaurant, MacNean House, is located. Amelda is from Fermanagh, "just 15 minutes away."
In a recent interview with Andrea Smith in the Sunday Independent, the couple revealed that six months after they first met, Amelda had a bad car accident in which she suffered a broken knee and pelvis. She was confined to a wheelchair for three months, so moved back home to Fermanagh to recuperate. Neven visited daily, which Amelda said brought them even closer together. After recovering, she got a job in Enniskillen Credit Union, where she remained for eight years.
The couple celebrated their wedding on December 23, 2006, at the Nuremore Hotel in Monaghan.
Amelda recovered well from the accident, however, due to the broken pelvis, she had to give birth to the twins by Caesarean section.
But some days after the birth of the twins Amelda became seriously unwell.