A Cork family is hoping to raise funds to ensure a brave toddler can finally arrive home for the first time in his life, 17 months after he was born.
Cork native Shauna Burke was told her son Jayden may not survive birth.
The Cork toddler defied the odds, however.
Little Jayden was born with a rare condition which left him without the main pulmonary valve in his heart and two holes in the chambers, as well as airway problems.
He was also born missing the ulna bone in his arm and some fingers.
Jayden was whisked away from his mother as soon as he was born, following an emergency section, and medical staff worked for hours to ensure he lived.
He has undergone several surgeries since his birth and has spent every moment of his life so far in hospital, either in Cork or Crumlin.
“I have been in Crumlin Hospital in Dublin since Jayden was eight weeks old and in Cork University Hospital before that,” said Shauna.
“He has never been home.”
Jayden was transferred to Crumlin Children’s Hospital eight weeks after he was born but, following a bad reaction to a CT scan, he was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit.
He underwent surgery but suffered two cardiac arrests and ended up on life support at a time when he was just five months old.
Shauna said the support she received from family and friends at the time was phenomenal.
“Eventually we were told he was doing ok and stable and he was finally let out of ICU.”
Four months later, just a week before Christmas, Jayden underwent heart surgery, an 11-hour procedure which saw three surgeons operating on the youngster.
The surgery proved a success and he was once again, let out of the ICU.
“Even the doctors and surgeons could not believe how fast he recovered,” said Shauna.
“We spent our first Christmas in Crumlin but at least we were all together.
“Through the coming months we got him off being tube fed and finally drinking a bottle which was a huge milestone,” she added.
“We now have to work on Jayden’s muscles doing physio in the ward everyday and try to help him strengthen his muscles and sit up by himself as he was lying in a hospital cot on ventilation and morphine for the first 7 months of his life.
“Eventually we hope Jayden will walk but have been told by the specialists up in Crumlin nobody knows and only Jayden will tell us eventually.
“He is such a clever baby and a fighter and he was called a miracle by Crumlin specialists,” said Shauna.
Finally, after 17 arduous months in hospitals, Jayden is ready to move home to Cork.
However, his home needs to be made ready for him as he will need a live-in nurse seven nights a week, hospital cot, medical equipment and wet room.
Shauna has been awarded a council grant which will cover some but not all of the costs.
Work has already begun on the extension required to bring Jayden home but Shauna admitted funds are getting low.
“We found a builder - Reform Construction - that is fantastic and started work with the funds we had.
“SIG Ireland construction products have donated materials to help get started and were very supportive and sympathetic to our story,” she added.
“At the moment we are at the block work stage but funds are getting low.”
Shauna has set up a Gofundme page in the hope of raising the funds necessary to get her son home for the first time in his life.
More than €2,000 has been raised on the page so far with the target set initially at €20,000.
The fundraising page can be found at: