'She would have liked something positive to come from tragedy'
The husband of a young garda who died after giving birth to twins fought back tears last night as he spoke of the emotional moment when he brought the surviving twin home for the first time.
Aidan McCabe (41), along with his now four-year-old son Adam and his older brother Ben (6), launched the Tania McCabe Foundation in the name of his late wife to raise money for vital baby care units in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, and Unit 8 at Holles St Maternity Hospital, Dublin.
"She would like to say thank you, to give something back for Adam and that something positive comes out of what was a very tragic event," Mr McCabe, also a garda sergeant, from Termonfeckin, Co Louth, said.
Earlier this year the HSE apologised to the family of Garda Sergeant Tania Corcoran-McCabe (34) who died after giving birth to twins -- Adam and Zach -- at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda on March 9, 2007.
She was six months' pregnant when she was admitted to hospital three days earlier, believing her waters had broken. It was not diagnosed that her membranes had ruptured and she was sent home.
She was rushed back within 24 hours suffering from sepsis and an emergency caesarean section was performed. One of her twin premature boys, Zach, died in her arms and she died hours later.
"Adam was born 13-weeks before his due date at 27 weeks gestation. He only weighed 2lbs 10oz," Mr McCabe said at the charity launch in Westmanstown Sports Centre in Dublin, which was attended by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, patron broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan, and many of Tania's family, friends and colleagues.
"Adam had many challenges to overcome in addition to his prematurity. He was born with the same infection that claimed the life of his mother. This put an enormous strain on his little premature body and he required many antibiotics and drips and various medications to help combat the infection he acquired. He also needed support with assistance breathing."
The family pinned a photograph of his mother, Tania, and his big brother, Ben, to the top of his bassinet during his time in hospital.
Mr McCabe battled back tears as he told how he brought Adam home three months later on June 3.
"It was not the way it was supposed to happen on what was another very emotional day," he said. "When I brought Adam in the door of the house, the reception he got from his big brother Ben would bring tears to any man and it certainly did this one."
The chairman of the charity, Adam's grandfather Philip McCabe, praised the massive support the family had received and described his grandson as a bright young boy.
Commissioner Callinan said many of her colleagues had "special memories" of Tania as a garda, mother and friend, who had an "engaging and disarming smile" and was a leader and a great communicator.
Mr Kenny said it was appropriate that 100 people -- including 60 gardai -- would choose to brave the gruelling 67km adventure race, Gaelforce West, on August 20 for the charity as it was near Tania's homeplace of Louisburgh in Co Mayo.