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‘Nothing prepares you for something like this’ – dad’s appeal to bring baby Ella home from hospital for the first time

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Dad Mikey and daughter Ella, who has been in hospital since her birth last year

Dad Mikey and daughter Ella, who has been in hospital since her birth last year

Seven-month-old Ella Dillon has been diagnosed with a number of rare medical conditions

Seven-month-old Ella Dillon has been diagnosed with a number of rare medical conditions

Parents Mikey and Niamh with baby Ella and her brother Zac (6)

Parents Mikey and Niamh with baby Ella and her brother Zac (6)

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Dad Mikey and daughter Ella, who has been in hospital since her birth last year

The parents of a seriously ill baby have asked to be prioritised for local authority housing so they can bring their daughter home from hospital.

Seven-month-old Ella Dillon has been in hospital since her birth last June after being diagnosed with a number of rare medical conditions.

It was first thought she just had a cleft palate, but then became so unwell that her parents, Mikey and Niamh, feared she would not survive.

After three months, Ella was diagnosed with Pierre Robin sequence, a condition that causes serious breathing and feeding problems.

She was also found to have an extremely rare gene called CTU2, which can lead to seizures and affect motor skills.

In addition, a scan revealed three benign cysts on her brain which will need to be monitored throughout her life. According to her father, there are now concerns she may also be visually impaired.

“Ella has made great progress thanks to the fantastic care she has received at Temple Street Hospital,” Mikey said. “She’s not doing too great this week as she is recovering from a procedure to have a feeding peg fitted.

“She previously had a tracheostomy and we are both being trained in how to manage before she is allowed to leave hospital. Ella wouldn’t be with us today if she didn’t have that done.”

Ella’s parents are desperately seeking to be housed before they can bring her home for the first time in April. They are currently living in a one-room garage conversion to the side of Niamh’s mother’s house in St Margaret’s, near Dublin Airport.

“We thought we would be coming home with a perfectly healthy baby, but where we live is completely unsuitable for managing Ella’s complex medical needs,” Mikey told Independent.ie.

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“We will have a nurse staying with us seven nights a week and the house will have to be properly ventilated and kept at a certain temperature.

“There are so many wires attached to Ella, me and her mother are the only ones able to cuddle her.”

The couple, who are also parents to son Zac (6), recently had a housing application turned down because their income was €11,000 over the qualifying threshold.

“We both work part-time, but that won’t be possible when Ella comes home from hospital as she will require round the clock care,” he said.

“We need to move to suitable accommodation that will have space for all the special medical equipment.

“We are appealing to any local authority in the Dublin or Meath area to take our exceptional circumstances into account.”

Mikey revealed that life has been extremely challenging since Ella was born.

“As a parent, nothing prepares you for something like this,” he said. “We both feel a little bit lost at times but are doing our best to learn how to care for Ella.

“I’m so proud of Niamh, who has done so well with all the specialist training at the hospital.”

A fundraising page has been set up to support the family and donations can be made here.


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