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Four children will get tragic toddler's organs

THE parents of a tragic toddler who died after a horror fall have donated his organs to four needy children.

Vakaris Martinaitis (2) died from critical injuries he sustained after falling out an upstairs window of the family home in Midleton, Cork.

The toddler had to be driven by former All-Ireland hurling star Kevin Hennessy almost 18km to Cork University Hospital (CUH) with a garda escort on Monday afternoon.

A HSE investigation has been launched into why an ambulance wasn't available to transfer the toddler to hospital who died 48 hours after the fall.

Vakaris's parents, Lithuanian nationals Vidas and Aukse, said they were "broken hearted" by the freak accident.



They donated Vakaris's organs and four children have benefited from transplants.

Last night, Vidas and Aukse spoke of their devastation at the freak accident.

"I cannot believe what has happened. I have not told my daughter yet," Aukse said.

Her daughter, 10 years older than Vakaris, about to make her First Holy Communion.

"Vakaris was a beautiful little boy. We have great thanks for our neighbours and the people that have helped us. Everyone has been very kind to us," she said.

The mother-of-two paid an emotional tribute to Mr Hennessy. "He was very kind. We will never forget what he did for Vakaris. This has all been very hard for us."

Vidas wept as he recalled how his son fell from the first-floor window of their home at The Paddocks in Castleredmond just 2km outside Midleton.

"I could not save my son. But his organs were donated so at least four other children now have the chance of life," he said.

"But I will never get the chance to play football with him or to take him fishing.

"He was a beautiful little boy. When he wake up in the morning he gave me a hug."

Health Minister Dr James Reilly described the boy's death as "a terrible tragedy".

"It's a terrible loss for the family and I have asked for a report on it. We will investigate this. Ambulance service is a critical part of our health service," he said. The HSE confirmed an investigation is ongoing with the National Ambulance Service.

This will include a detailed examination of the log containing all ambulance call-outs, vehicle movements as well as public contacts.

The HSE said no further comment would be made until the facts were clarified.



However, a key element of the probe will be an examination of the recordings of the alert call and whether HSE controllers were informed the boy had fallen from a height.

Vakaris suffered critical head injuries and, as his father desperately tried to help him, he was spotted by Mr Hennessy.

"I was told that there was no ambulance available and was advised to get the child to a doctor," said Mr Hennessy.

Vidas had no transport, as his wife had taken the family's only car to her work.

Mr Hennessy, who has first- aid training, drove the boy and his father to the SouthDoc GP cover service in Midleton, but was advised to get him to CUH immediately.