‘I was afraid to let myself love my son in case he died’ says Fingal mum

by Sylvia Pownall

A Fingal mum has shared the story of her son’s amazing journey after he underwent life-saving kidney surgery at Crumlin Hospital.

Jessica Bergin from Ballyboughal praised medical staff who cared for her son Roman and called for more public funding into paediatric research.

A 20-week scan revealing abnormal kidney function struck terror into young mum Jessica who admitted: “I was afraid to let myself love him in case he died.”

She revealed: “I found out that the baby’s bladder wasn’t emptying properly and as a result fluid was travelling back into his kidneys and damaging them.”

Roman was in danger from the minute he was born, but both he and Jessica were given the support they needed by staff at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children.

Jessica revealed: “They didn’t just look after him, they took care of me too in ways that I will forever be grateful to them for.

“When Roman was about a week old, a nurse came to see me, and she asked me why I wouldn’t hold him as often as I could.

“For the first time since finding out about his problems I admitted that I was too afraid to let myself love him in case he died. I was terrified to get attached.

“She spent the next hour explaining every part of Roman’s condition, the present and long-term implications, then she finished by telling me that he was not going to die.

“Those words were the biggest relief any mother can hear. From that moment on, things could only look brighter.”

Two-year-old Roman is now a happy, healthy little boy whose kidneys are now operating at 60% after he underwent surgery to create a stoma on his bladder.

Jessica said: “He had a scan recently and we know his kidneys are growing, which is a great sign.

“I want him to have the same opportunities as every other kid his age. He’s the best thing that has ever happened to me and so, so many other people.”

CMRF Crumlin, the fundraising arm of the hospital and the National Children’s Research Centre, supported Jessica and Roman during their hospital stay.

To donate go to https://cmrf.org/donate.

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