100km Walk of Love for CMRF Crumlin
We all hear how resilient and strong babies are but it’s only when we see their bravery in action do we truly understand how courageous these little ones can be. Colm Hoary has triumphed in some pretty amazing battles since the day he was born. He had his first heart operation when he was just two weeks old, and spent his first six months of life in hospital. Colm’s Mum Juliet and her family are inspired by Colm’s bravery, and took on the incredible task of walking 100km to raise vital funds for CHI at Crumlin to help other sick children.
“Colm was born premature in Holles Street and we knew nothing about his health prior to this. Then we figured out he had something wrong with his heart and from there it seemed to be one thing after another. He was only 2lbs 11 ounces when he was born and he has Down Syndrome,” says Juliet, “when he was two weeks old Professor Colin McMahon said he needs his Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) fixed because it wasn't closing itself so they transferred him over to Crumlin. [PDA is a persistent opening between the two major blood vessels leading from the heart, and can cause a heart murmur].”
“They actually operated on him in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in Crumlin because he was so small they didn't want to bring him down to theatre. So his first heart operation was when he was only two weeks old, and the size of him in the bed...it was mad. He was so small, and he was back in Holles Street within two days and he was flying along. Then it was all about getting him big and strong enough for the next operation because he also had two holes in his heart. So he had his first open heart surgery at five and a half months old. He was in Holles Street for four and a half months and then we brought him home on oxygen but it only lasted a week or two. Then we went to Crumlin for a sleep study and they kept us in. He had open heart surgery while we were there and since then he has never looked back.
A little while later, he had a leaky valve, which was getting progressively worse. So they had to intervene again before last Christmas. So we weren't really expecting that one like we were expecting the first one. Professor Colin McMahon and Professor John Mark Redmond are just excellent, and the nurses in the heart ward are brilliant.
Colm is six now and he'll be seven in January. So after the surgery in December we said we're definitely doing the walk because we have a big forest park down here so we were going to organise a big 10km walk. But then with COVID19, we couldn't really so this was the next best thing.
For the 100km, I was thinking if I did 3km a day that would be great. It felt like an achievement to do it and it made me go out in the evening instead of sitting at home or cleaning the house. My sister who organised it is in New Zealand and a few of her friends did it as well. That's why we got so much support because there were a few of us doing it in Ireland and over in New Zealand. My sister Colette did it, and my husband Adrian joined along with my sister Celine and my brother David. They all wanted to get involved because they all love Colm.”
Thankfully the outlook is positive for Colm in terms of his heart condition. He has overcome some major obstacles and he is thriving. Nowadays the Hoary family just need to agree on their family allegiance to the best county hurling team in Ireland.
“Colm's Daddy is from Galway. So there's a big debate in our house at the moment. We're big hurling supporters, Colm loves his Daddy so I think he'll go towards Galway rather than Tipperary. While Darragh our four year old will go with whoever is winning!”
- Juliet, Colm's Mum
With your support we will continue to do #WhateverItTakes