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Heartbroken mum kept away from sick son on Mother's Day

A YOUNG mum was left heartbroken after a chest infection meant she couldn't spend Mother's Day with her brave son who is preparing for marathon surgery in the US.

Rosa O'Connor was unable to spend the day, as planned, with her little son Sergio at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Dublin amid fears her chest infection could be contagious.

Sergio and dad Donal had arranged a special Mother's Day card at the Crumlin hospital to thank Rosa for her devoted bedside vigils since the little boy was born on March 5 last year.

"I'm absolutely heartbroken -- but we just couldn't take a chance," Rosa said.

Donal said that while Rosa's chest infection had wrecked their Mother's Day plans, the family's entire focus is now on getting Sergio to the US for his life-changing operation.

"It is a shame that Rosa couldn't come to the hospital and spend the day with Sergio. But I'll bring the card from Sergio to her and, hopefully, we'll all be able to spend Mother's Day at home together next year," Donal told the Herald.

Sergio was born with a rare condition which has left him with an incomplete oesophagus, the organ linking his mouth to his stomach.

To prevent his trachea from collapsing, he has to be fed via a peg directly into his stomach.

Sergio -- who has a twin brother Tadhg -- has been kept since birth in Our Lady's Children's Hospital.

Because of his condition, he also requires constant ventilation to prevent him from choking.

Sergio and Tadhg are Rosa and Donal's first children -- and they now face spending between three and six months in the US after Sergio undergoes surgery to repair his oesophagus in a top Boston hospital.

Boston University Children's Hospital is one of only a handful of facilities in the world which undertakes the painstaking procedure, which can last for six to eight hours.

The Health Service Executive has agreed to fund the Boston operation and the Government has agreed to provide the Air Corps jet to transfer Sergio to the US.

However, the O'Connor family still have to raise €100,000 as their contribution towards the cost of the procedure.

Donations can be made to the Sergio O'Connor Fund, Bank of Ireland, Killester, Dublin, Sort Code 900594, A/C No. 95647682 or Sergio O'Connor Fund, Mitchelstown Credit Union, Co Cork A/C No. 26389E.