A woman has praised the role of the rescue services following a terrifying trek through the snow with her seven-year-old son who needed urgent medical attention at the height of the past week's storms.
Carrying son Logan and his medical equipment, Louise Shepherd, her partner Michael and nine-year-old daughter Amillia, braved the harsh weather to meet up with rescuers, advanced paramedic Declan Cunningham and Cpl Stan Holloway, from the defence forces, who wading through the snow to meet them after their four-wheel-drive vehicle got stuck in a snow drift three kilometres from the family home in Cleariestown.
'I can't praise them enough, they were fantastic,' said Louise.
Louise said the family's problems began when 'the electricity, water and everything went out' as the storm was raging.
Because of Logan's complex medical needs, the family have a generator as a back up, but this too failed and despite his best efforts, Michael was unable to get it working.
'We had no heat or anything else, so it wasn't safe to keep Logan at home,' said Louise, who called the nursing administrator at Wexford General Hospital, who found her son a bed, however, the next problem was getting the youngster there.
In some of the worst weather conditions in 50 years, Declan and Stan headed out into the blizzard in their four wheel drive for Cleariestown, however, three kilometres short of their destination, conditions were too bad to go any further in the vehicle.
The two rescuers then trekked towards Louise's house as the family party headed towards them, laden down with some of Logan's equipment which was not available at the hospital.
Both had to contend with snow, ranging from ankle- to hip-deep, with Louise and Michael carrying the youngster 'piggy-back' style.
'It was pure relief when we met up with them. It was pitch back and terrifying and no matter what they had been driving, they wouldn't have got down that road.. just to get Logan to them and to know he would be safe and sound and OK was fantastic,' Louise told this newspaper.
After meeting the rescue party, Michael and Amillia headed back to the family home, while Louise and Logan headed for the four by four with the rescuers. Logan is back with his family and none the worse for his ordeal, which lasted from about 5 p.m. on Friday when Louise made the first call for help until about 2.30 a.m. on Saturday when they finally reached the safety and security of Wexford Hospital. 'I can't thank the lads enough,' said Louise, praising staff at Wexford General Hospital for the high level of care they provided despite their many hours on duty. Logan and his mam returned to Wexford Hospital on Tuesday to thank staff and the rescuers for their assistance.