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Every Minute Matters for sick children in Temple Street

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Click above to read a snapshot of a typical 24-hours in Temple Street's busy Theatre Department

Minute by minute, hour by hour, each and every day, the support of our generous donors is saving lives of children in Temple Street.

When a child needs emergency surgery, every minute matters. Having the best equipment for our operating theatres so that no surgery is ever delayed or postponed because of a faulty machine. 

Right now we urgently need to purchase a new, vital piece of equipment for our operating theatres. It’s called a C Arm X-Ray machine. This amazing piece of equipment gives surgeons a 'live' X-Ray picture of their patient as they operate. And those pictures save lives.

Declan is rushed to hospital

DeclanDeclan Meehan’s mother knew something was wrong when her five-year-old son didn’t want to go outside to play because he had a headache. When that headache wouldn’t go away she brought him to her nearest hospital in Donegal, where a CT Scan revealed that Declan had a massive bleed on his brain. He was immediately rushed to Temple Street Hospital for emergency surgery. 

At 4am Declan was hurried into surgery in Temple Street to stop the bleed on his brain. Dr. John Cair, the neurosurgeon who operated on Declan, said that his life was in immediate danger.

“At one point the nurse travelling with him rang to ask how far away we were. She said Declan was turning pale. I thought we were going to lose him.”

Frances, Declan's Mum

When Dr. Caird eventually managed to stop the bleed on Declan’s brain, he was taken to Intensive Care Unit where he remained in a coma.
For the next few weeks his devoted parents and sister sat with him – singing songs for him and talking to him, day after day. And then one Saturday night, four weeks after the surgery that saved his life, Declan looked at his sister and spoke again for the first time. Much of the sophisticated medical machinery that helped save Declan’s life in surgery was paid for by our wonderful donors.

Every year the four operating theatres in Temple Street Hospital complete over 6,000 operations – many of them complicated, emergency procedures that save the lives of hundreds of children, just like Declan.  

Helen required immediate surgery

Helen Gleeson was just two years old when her mother noticed she wasn’t sitting properly and was losing her ability to balance. After many tests it was discovered that Helen had a cancerous tumour on her spine. The tumour was growing aggressively, wrapping itself around her spinal cord and vital organs.

“At that stage, hours meant everything. The doctors said irreversible damage would be done if they didn’t get to it in time.”

Catherine, Helen's Mum

Helen’s operation lasted nearly five hours. But, with the help of the C Arm X-Ray machine, surgeons could successfully begin the process ofhelen removing the massive tumour from her spine. That marathon surgery was the first of nine operations that Helen has had in the last year. Today, Helen’s tumour has gone, her rehab is progressing and she is walking and smiling again. That is the incredible difference the C Arm X-Ray machine can make. But sadly the one that is currently in use in Temple Street is getting old. It frequently breaks down and needs servicing. If that happens again vital operations will need to be deferred and delayed.

Today, both Helen and Declan are at home and beginning to enjoy their childhoods again. Time still means everything to them and their families. But now they are counting each moment simply to cherish it. Please support this special Every Minute Matters Appeal – so that we can continue to provide critically ill children with the very best facilities – and ensure that sick children receive the life-saving treatment they need – when they need it.