A Dun Laoghaire woman says she wants to say “thanks to everyone” at Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) Crumlin for help saving her baby boy.
Sinead Switzer says she recalls the panic she felt when her son was born without a back passage and needed urgent medical treatment.
“When my little boy was born, I knew something was wrong,” Switzer says.
“Matthew was born without a back passage and he was transferred to Crumlin the next day.
“When he was just three days old, he was operated on to give him a colostomy bag.
“I was so overwhelmed and afraid but all the staff on the Nazareth ward were incredible.
“They taught me so much about motherhood in those first few scary days – I gave Matthew his first bath in the sink in our room.
“The nurses moved furniture around so I could hold my baby easier with all his wires.
“When Matthew was seven months old, we returned to hospital for his big surgery to make his bottom,” she says.
Switzer says that Professor Alan Mortell and his team assured her things would work out OK.
“I remember when I brought Matthew to theatre, the nurses played Peppa Pig for him. They comforted me when I cried as he was put under anaesthetic.
“I remember small things like the nurses putting their arms around my shoulders and telling me he was going to be OK.”
Matthew was slow to recover from the anaesthetic so he was brought to intensive care.
While Switzer says it was her worst nightmare to see her little boy seriously ill, Matthew recovered and went on to have his colostomy reversal at 13 months old.
However, at 19 months Matthew once again became very unwell.
“Last summer Matthew had trouble with his bowel resulting in him being in nappies again, Switzer says.
“I rang Stephanie, the stoma nurse, in tears.
“She told me not to worry as we could do bowel washouts.
“Two weeks later we were taught by her lovely colleague, Mary, how to clear Matthew’s bowel at home.
“Thanks to them, he has started school without a nappy and for the first time in years he doesn’t go to the toilet every hour.
“I cannot express how grateful I am. He has appointments in Crumlin every six months.
“Thanks to everyone at the hospital I have a healthy, energetic five year old.
“He does ballet once a week and is such a happy little boy. He has a great life and certainly lives it to the full!