Crumlin is where the heart is
Over the years, families all around Ireland have entrusted staff in CHI at Crumlin with their sick children. We are very thankful when we meet a former patient who has grown up after beating the odds. Aidan O’Sullivan, was diagnosed with a serious heart condition when he was born and underwent life-saving surgery a few days later.
"Twenty eight years ago I was 10 days old when I had surgery in Crumlin Children's Hospital. I had a Coarctation of the aorta [narrowing or constriction in a portion of the aorta. The condition forces the heart to pump harder to get blood through the aorta and on to the rest of the body],” says Aidan, “I was in the hospital for a week and then three weeks after the surgery. I have had regular check-ups every two years up until I was 21 years old.”
“My mother said that when I was born there were no problems but then a week later she noticed that my insoles on my feet were swollen. So she brought me to our local GP, and he recommended I go to Galway hospital, and that's when they discovered the condition and I was flown by helicopter to Crumlin. It was a bit stressful for my mother. She went with me in the helicopter and she said it was awful because she didn't sleep a wink the whole time I was sick. She was worried sick about me and then she also had five other children at home. I was number six out of nine children in my family.
Growing up I didn't take much notice of my condition because there was no real problem after the surgery. Today I'm fit as a fiddle. I grew up in Lisdoonvarna in County Clare - I was born here and I'm still living here. I work out in Doolin2Aran Ferries, and that's where I met one of your fundraisers Liam Heffernan who was doing 'Siúl sa Bhaile' to raise money for the hospital. They were a great bunch of people. The work they are doing is mighty. They were telling me that they are always out and about doing something. Liam is a character, and he's a great lad. It's brilliant working by the sea, I spend most of my time working on the pier. I couldn't ask for a nicer job working down at the Cliffs of Moher.
My mother has always said there was a great support up in Crumlin. They were all brilliant and so accommodating. The staff helped her through it a lot. Obviously, I don't remember so much of it because I was so young but they were a great help to her. She wouldn't have managed it without them. Even now she still remembers everyone’s name - all the nurses, doctors and everything. She says that she will never forget them. The last time we went to Crumlin was when I was 16, and we actually met one of the nurses who had been there when I was going in for surgery all those years ago and they had a chat as if they had always known each other."
Over 150,000 children will pass through the doors of CHI at Crumlin every year. Some will arrive by ambulance, some will stay for a few hours, others for weeks, months or even years. Your support will ensure that all these children have the very best chance that world-class care, treatment and research can provide.
If you would like to take on a challenge of your own to support this vital work then please contact our Communities Team firstname.lastname@example.org who are happy to help you get started.
With your support we will continue to do #WhateverItTakes