“When I was 28 weeks pregnant I was in work and I could feel my waters breaking. A week later our beautiful little girl, Evie, was born. Little did we know as she was whisked away immediately, the journey we had ahead. As I lay in bed recovering I was sad that I didn’t have my little girl beside me to hold. Less than 12 hours after birth the lovely neonatologist, Lisa McCarthy, came to tell me that Evie had a problem with her bowel and was already on her way to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. I dressed quickly and my sister drove us over. I remember entering the hospital not knowing what direction to go or where she was.
We met Dr John Kelleher who explained everything. They thought her bowel was obstructed and she would need surgery. Dr Danielle McLoughlin, one of Evie’s wonderful surgeons, explained that the particular condition that Evie had usually occurred in children with cystic fibrosis and that there was a 75% chance that Evie had this condition. That was a shock, but all we wanted was for her to be OK and get her bowel fixed.
When she was two days old, at just 3 lbs, she had her first surgery with Ms. Sinead Hassett, her outstanding consultant paediatric surgeon. Evie’s condition was critical post-surgery. I was sick with fear. Each hour that passed was a small victory. We sat by her bed pouring all our love into her to pull through. Evie fought hard and for the next six weeks we watched her, willing her to get better. It was a tough journey for her. She got sepsis and then one night she had an arrest. The phone rang at midnight and we were told to come to the ICU. I really thought she was gone. We were so lucky though because she pulled through yet another major event.
Her next surgery was to see if her bowel had recovered and if she would be able to use it. She still wasn’t full term yet and was such a teeny, tiny thing. I was so scared. Three hours waiting was almost unbearable. Then we got the best news we could have hoped for - Evie’s bowel had been repaired. When we finally brought our baby girl home it was honestly the best moment of our lives. We have so much to thank Crumlin Hospital for. The nurses were just so incredible - so patient, kind and helpful, they were my best friends for a long time. Ms Hassett was incredible. I trusted her with my baby’s life and I knew no matter what that Evie was in the best hands possible from the moment I met her. She checked on her every day along with Dr McLoughlin and did a huge amount of work to get Evie through to recovery. We can never thank the team enough.
Since Evie was discharged she’s been doing brilliantly. She’s one and a half now and is the happiest little girl. She is walking, chatting and doing all the things we wondered if we would ever see her do. She has cystic fibrosis so we still go for regular check-ups to Crumlin, but she’s doing so well and is minded wonderfully by the team.
All the staff in Crumlin kept us going. We never felt alone. We felt like we were the only ones in the hospital - that’s how well we were looked after. I think of the nurses and doctors a lot and so, so fondly. We feel so grateful for the care we received. Evie is a product of the care and love of everyone in Crumlin Hospital. We wouldn’t have our little girl without Crumlin.”
- Ellie Woulfe, Evie’s mum.