When Michael Ring’s young son was undergoing heart surgery, he decided to fundraise. “On the Monday morning our son Daniel was going in to theatre and we were walking around the hospital. I saw this poster on one of the walls, on it was a cheque for €13,000. I said to my wife Noreen ‘how can one person gather that amount of funds?’”
Daniel had originally been diagnosed with a heart murmur but things became more complicated when further tests revealed Daniel needed to undergo heart surgery to correct a coarctation of his aorta. “I could see the doctor’s face changing and I said to myself ‘this isn’t right’. Things got very quiet in the room. At the point I had to sit down as I started to panic”.
From there, Daniel was referred to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, under the guide of cardiologist Dr. Paul Oslizlok. Michael said from the moment they entered OLCHC he could feel a warmth. From his first meeting with Paul he felt a calm and a reassurance. He said, “Paul brought five trainee staff members into the room when he was talking to us. I could see one of the lady’s had a tear in her eye and I could see much they feel for their patients. We weren’t in a good place mentally but physically I knew we couldn’t be in a better place”.
Daniel was scheduled to have his surgery in August. Lars Nolke was Daniel’s surgeon and when he met Michael and his wife Noreen, things were explained and worries were allayed. “He told us what the problem was, got out a diagram, drew it out for us and made it very clear so we understood everything”.
The family arrived up to Dublin on a Sunday evening, making the long journey from Cork. Daniel would have his surgery the next morning. It wasn’t until that morning that things became very real, very quick. “They got Daniel ready for his surgery and I saw the X on his back, I thought ‘this is really going to happen’.”
Daniel had successful surgery and was placed in ICU that evening. “Our experience in ICU was brilliant, and that was the one area I was really worried about,” Michael explained. That Monday night was only the second night Michael and his wife had ever spent away from Daniel, but the nurses and staff had been so good and showed so much care right from Daniel’s arrival that they felt at ease when leaving him.
Daniel made a full recovery, so much so that he was back home in Cork that Friday. It wasn’t until a while later that Michael finally came good on his promise to fundraise. Having never run a half marathon in his life, he signed up for the Clonakilty half marathon.