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Hospital boy makes first trip home

THIS is the little boy who has returned to his home for the first time after spending all of his life in hospital.

Liam Mac an tSaoi (3) was welcomed in Clonberne, Co Galway, where his family had prepared for his arrival.

Little Liam, who needs 24-hour care, has lived most of his short life in Crumlin hospital. He has undergone 15 operations, eight of which were life saving.

His parents, Louise and Sean, and older brothers Fiachna and Cormac were anxiously waiting for the first trip home for the toddler.

"We've spent the last few days preparing, getting the bed and oxygen delivered. This is why he survived, to come home to us," said mum Louise. "Today is really about seeing how he copes at home. It will be a strange place for him but I know he will do great."

Now the family are looking forward to the day when they will finally get Liam back home for good.

"We want to resort to a normal family life with Liam. I want him to see us all eating around the table, show him the trees and the animals, all things that are alien to him," added Louise.


The family had hoped that Liam would be coming home permanently this month but those plans hit a setback after a delay in securing nurses for Liam's care.

"The hospital don't know what the delay is but we have only five nurses in place and we need five more. The agency says it doesn't have enough nursing cover at the moment. The money is in place and the hospital is ready to go but we need the full nursing cover to move on," she added.

Louise is currently making up for the shortfall in nursing staff by spending nights in the hospital with her son.

"I have to be available to the hospital at all times in case there is no agency nursing staff to look after him. It's hard because when I'm up all night I don't get to visit him the next day and he's too little to understand why I'm not there," she said.

Liam, who now requires round-the-clock care for his chronic lung disease, and must be fed through a tube, was transferred to Galway hospital in early January allowing him to be closer to the family home.