Joy as Poppy (4) finally returns home to Rathnew
Little girl spent 16 months in Temple Street
Poppy Mernagh has been discharged from Temple Street Hospital after 16 months and will spend this Christmas at home.
On Monday the brave four-year-old returned home after 16 long and gruelling months.
'We are just delighted to have her home,' said Poppy's mother Jennifer Tymlin.
'It has been a very rough road and a hard 16 months. Now we are at the point where we have been trained enough to look after her. We also receive 130 nursing hours too. She is delighted to be out as well, even though she loves all the nurses and will miss them. They spoil her rotten.'
In July of 2016 aged just two-and-a-half, Poppy, the daughter of Ms Tymlin and Edward Mernagh, was diagnosed with transverse myelitis - a condition that affects just one in 800,000 people.
The discovery was made after she was admitted to hospital with enterovirus and pneumonia.
The illness causes inflammation of the spinal cord and can also lead to damage to the nerve fibres that may be irreversible.
Poppy was placed in ICU in Temple Street Hospital to undergo treatment to try and reduce the inflammation.
Poppy's family have been heartened by the amount of support they have received since the youngster's diagnosis, with countless fundraisers organised to help pay for the cost of her treatment.
'People have been brilliant to us and we really want to thank them all. The care she received in hospital was incredible and we can't thank all the staff enough. They did amazing work. Hopefully now she stays well and we will have her home for Christmas' said Jennifer.
Despite being released, it's still not the end of the recovery road just yet for Poppy as she remains paralysed from the neck down and requires 24-hour care.
'She came home with a little cold and there was a danger that could block her airwaves. She still requires a lot of help and you have to make sure her airwaves are clear at all times. You have to constantly move her because she can't stay too long in the one position because it can affect her respiratory system,' said Jennifer.
'But the main thing is, we have her home.'