Super Nanny Rose Daly’s 100 Mile Walk
Each year over 150,000 sick children come through the doors of CHI at Crumlin hospital. Some will stay for hours while others will stay for days, weeks or even months sometimes calling the hospital their home from home. For Gemma and Barry Hutton, the hospital became her home when her son Barra was born with a life threatening Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) last year. Barra was only three days old when he had open heart surgery. To celebrate Barra’s first birthday, his Super Nanny Rose Daly is going to walk 100 miles to raise vital funds for Children’s Health Foundation Crumlin.
"She's a fit Nanny. She usually goes on long walks and to the gym every morning. The walk is happening in a place called Ardboe County Tyrone. It's a wee country village. Mum’s house is on a disused airfield from World War 2,” says Gemma, “there's just a few houses on the airfield and it loops in a circle of 3.5 miles. She will have to walk around the circle eight times a day for four days to reach 100 miles. Hopefully we get good weather! She had a £1,000 target and she has smashed it now.”
“At my 20 week scan Barra was diagnosed with a CHD, and he had a transposition of the great arteries. [Transposition of the great arteries is a condition where that the two main blood vessels leaving the heart, the pulmonary artery (which takes blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen) and the aorta (which takes blood from the heart to the body) are swapped over (switched).] He was only three days old when he had surgery. They call it the switch. He had his open heart surgery, and thank God he came through it and recovered well.
We live in Tyrone, so the hospital was very far away for us. He was in there for three and a half weeks. When we got him home I was scared and I was looking for some of the nurses to come with me. He really thrived when I got him home. The support that I got down there from the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) team and the nurses in the Children's Heart Centre was just amazing. It was a struggle to get him fed and then I was actually able to breastfeed him, which was brilliant. If I didn't get the help from the nurses down there I wouldn't have been able to do it.
Barra is walking now, he started walking at 10 months! For someone who lay in hospital for a month it's amazing. He was down in Dublin for three and a half weeks and then he came up to Belfast to The Royal Victoria Hospital to finish his recovery there. The doctors up here had to get to know him because they would be looking after him for the rest of his life. He's doing really well. I have six children and Barra is the baby. The oldest is eight so it's busy busy.
My Mummy is great and I wouldn't have been able to have as many without her because she's a great help. Even with Barra now, she came up with this idea for his first birthday. I would love to do it but I don't have the time. I'm so lucky that she is healthy and able to do this.
For anyone starting a hospital journey, trust the doctors. They know what they're doing. You will worry and you can't help it. The main thing is to focus on getting this baby better and doing everything you can for that baby. Whenever I was down there all I thought about was getting Barra better. I didn't need to worry about my other children because they were safe and with Mummy. I just put all my energy into him. I did a lot of praying as well. I focused on holding him when I could. I thought that was so good for him. He was so happy whenever I was there, and he was more settled.
I was made to feel 100% welcome in the hospital. Anything that I needed was sorted out. We stayed in the parent’s accommodation in Crumlin for the first while and my husband loved it. Then we went to the Ronald McDonald House and he loved that too. We made great friends who are other parents and we're still in contact with them.
I want to wish my Mummy well for the walk. What an amazing super Nanny she is. For every birthday she always bakes a cake, and my wee girl was six years old recently. She made a lovely three layer cake, and I was telling her that Nanny is going to do a 100 mile walk for Barra for the hospital. And she said can you believe it she's a Super Nanny, and she made me a three layer birthday cake too!”
Dig deep and support Super Nanny Rose’s amazing 100 mile walk: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rose-daly
If you would like to take on a challenge of your own to support the vital work in CHI at Crumlin 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