A Cork family is hoping to get a new house this Christmas in order to offer better care to their daughter who has been in Cork University Hospital for the past five months.
Lydia, aged six, who is after having seven operations in 14 months, suffers from Scoliosis, a medical condition in which a person's spine has a sideways curve.
Lydia’s mom, Marcella Cronin told the Evening Echo at the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club (CCHCC) trip to Fota House to see Santa Claus said it is her Christmas wish to have a new home for her family by Christmas.
“We are waiting for a transfer to a new house to bring her home. She needs a wet room and a downstairs bathroom and bedroom.
“We need a four bedroom house, we have been taking to the City Council and they have an idea of the house they are going to give us. We are hoping to have a new house by Christmas.” Marcella, who lives in Mayfield with her five Children; Lydia, Lucia, Dion, Annetta, Martin and her partner Ian Barrett, said the trip to Fota House with the CCHCC was a magical experience.
“Lydia was blown away after meeting Santa Claus and Mrs Claus. There was also Chip, Bella and the Beast from the film Beauty and the Beast, she loves them. She even has their dolls.” Maria, Martin and Kayleigh Molloy have been in and out of CUH since Kayleigh, 4, was born in the neonatal ward and yesterday they enjoyed their first outing with the CCHCC.
Kayleigh has Noonan’s Syndrome which prevents normal development in various parts of the body including unusual facial characteristics, short stature, heart defects, other physical problems and possible developmental delays.
Maria told the Evening Echo that Kayleigh has defied the odds to attend the Christmas festivities held yesterday at Fota House.
“She was given a 5% chance of survival at birth and look at her now. She had to have two bi-cochlear implants, but she is good, she is in preschool, she is doing what all kids her age do.” Maria said Kayleigh is hoping to get a bike and a doll for Christmas.
Another inspirational family enjoying the seasonal celebrations at Fota House yesterday was Kay, Nollaig, 6, and April, 2, Breen from Mallow.
April was born with a congenital heart defect and underwent open heart surgery when she was just a few days old.
Kay said it was an amazing experience to attend the ‘Magical Christmas at Fota House,’ hosted by CCHCC and the kids had a great time.
Noreen and 15-month-old Michael O’Neill, also went to see Santa yesterday. Michael has a rare brain condition that one in every 2,500 births have called polymicrogyria.
“Basically it means that there are too many folds on the brain and the result of it is seizures daily and developmental delay as well,” Noreen said.
“He is doing really well at the moment, we were in in September and had the nasogastric intubation put in, which has really made a lot of difference.” Niamh, James (three) and Rachel Lee (nine months) were also attending the special day at Fota House. Rachel had to have surgeries for her bowel. She is having her last big surgery in Crumlin on Tuesday and then hopefully, she will be on the mend.
Niamh said it is a brilliant outing for the family. “It is Rachel’s first Christmas so we are trying to make it special, especially for James because sometimes I feel he suffers more.
“Rachel doesn’t know any different, this is her normal, but his whole life was turned upside down when she was born.
“He was apart from us for a month when we were up in Crumlin, he couldn’t be with us and all the surgeries, he definitely feels it, he is only three.
“It’s great for him to have a normal day where we don’t have to worry about anything and we can just sit back and enjoy ourselves.”