THE mother of a five-year-old boy who suffers from vomiting attacks is seeking to raise awareness of the rare condition.
Amanda Seery had a mother's instinct that it was more than simply a tummy bug when her son, Devon, began suffering vomiting episodes when he was only nine months old.
"At the start, you think it's a stomach bug, or he has eaten something that doesn't agree with him," said Ms Seery, from Navan, Co Meath.
"It wasn't until the fourth or fifth time it happened that we slowly started to see there was a pattern."
Devon began suffering from unexplained vomiting in 2009.
He was finally diagnosed as having a rare condition called Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) at the age of nearly four.
"With the episodes, he would vomit up to a maximum of six times an hour until his stomach would empty and then he would dry retch. He would dehydrate rapidly," said Ms Seery (30).
The episodes would last 24 to 48 hours, said Devon's mother, who has three other children – Joshua (8), Noah (3) and 10-month-old Amelia.
"He would go deathly pale and quiet, he would get very lethargic and the uncontrolled vomiting would start," said Ms Seery.
"The pain in his stomach would be there and it would be increased by the vomiting and dry retching."
CVS is a condition which is thought to affect 2pc of the population. It comes in a series of attacks that can occur several times a month.
"They believe that it's the brain sending messages to the stomach that it wants to be sick and it feels sick," said Ms Seery.
"We were told he could grow out of it at any stage, or when he is an adolescent he might suffer migraine headaches or it may never happen again."
The vomiting episodes did stop, about two months after Devon was diagnosed in January 2012.
However, since the start of this year he has again experienced episodes of abdominal pain and nausea and will gag without getting sick.
"There's another thing called abdominal migraines and it's closely linked to CVS," said Ms Seery.
"Devon's episodes come every week, either on a Friday or a Saturday evening and start between half-seven or eight o'clock. But with regard to the vomiting, it doesn't happen with every episode any more for him."
"We are waiting to see his consultant to see now if he has changed over to abdominal migraine."
Ms Seery founded CVS Ireland last month to raise awareness. She believes many sufferers may be going undiagnosed.
"A lot of sufferers do grow out of it," she said, "but others carry it on into adulthood."
For details see www.seeryamanda.wix.com/cvsireland