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Paul completes hair-raising task

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Paul Clifford sports his new tight haircut along with his family, including seven-year-old, Reuben

Paul Clifford sports his new tight haircut along with his family, including seven-year-old, Reuben

Paul Clifford sports his new tight haircut along with his family, including seven-year-old, Reuben

A Swords Dad has made good on his promise to shave his head to raise cash for the Jack & Jill foundation who helped take care of his son in the early and most difficult days of his life.

Paul Clifford, whose youngest son Reuben stopped breathing at home when he was just four days old, has made good on his promise to shave his head for the charity having already surpassed his fundraising target of €8,000.

Reuben, who was born on August 15, 2013 in the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street, had just finished a feed when Paul noticed that his head went to the side and he had turned blue. Immediately Paul started CPR on tiny Reuben while his wife Jennifer called 999.

Swords Fire Service quickly arrived on the scene and took over the CPR before rushing him to hospital. Reuben spent time in intensive care and a total of 16 weeks in Temple Street Children's Hospital. Subsequent tests found that while Reuben was swallowing, some of the fluid was going into his lungs and his stomach.

Reuben, who is now seven, still has an undiagnosed condition. But, as Paul said, medically he is now doing very well.

'He used to be on oxygen 24/7 and we had a night nurse,' explained Paul, adding that Reuben now plays hurling and football with Fingallians GAA Club.

'Reuben is doing really well. He is walking and talking and playing sports. We were told a few years ago that he may never walk or talk so to see him talking and playing sports is amazing. We thought that day would never come.'

When Reuben required round the clock care, Paul said the Jack & Jill Foundation did so much for them as a family.

Paul's fundraising total is now hurtling towards the €9,000 mark and so the clippers came out and he sacrificed his locks for the cause.

Paul is dedicating the fundraising effort to his late mother-in-law, Hillary Grey, who sadly passed away in New Zealand during the fundraising campaign.

Fingal Independent