We want to give a big Shout Out to 16 year old Caoimhe Campbell and her Mum Bernie for completing the ‘150km Your Way’ challenge and raising over €1,800 for CHI at Temple Street. Caoimhe took on this challenge to raise vital funds for CHI at Temple Street and to show her gratitude for the amazing care she received when she was a patient.
In March 2018, 13 year old Caoimhe Campbell suffered a spinal stroke, causing her to be paralysed from the waist down.
“I was in school when I got an uncomfortable ache in my back, it got worse after about 30 minutes and I had to go home. I got into bed when I woke up I realised that I couldn’t move my right leg, it felt like it was dead or had pins and needles. I tried to stand but collapsed, I called out for my Mum to help me as I couldn’t get up.
We went straight to A&E and spent a night there getting tests, the MRI suggested that something had happened to the spinal cord, from there I was transferred to CHI at Temple Street. When I arrived in CHI at Temple Street, they did a CT scan, another MRI scan, I had blood tests twice a day for a week and had a number of lumbar punctures. The medical team were working to figure out what was happening, they ruled out meningitis and MS before confirming it was a spinal stroke.
I was paralysed from the waist down at this point, Dr. Lynch and his team gave me a 50/50 chance of walking again, but I didn’t let that phase me at all. Even though I couldn’t stand, they started me on physiotherapy straight away. Andrea was the physiotherapist who was working with me, she was amazing and we really bonded. I slowly started to get some movement back, first in my big toe and then very gradually movement started to come back in other areas. I did physio every single day and practiced walking in the halls with my Mam or Dad as much as I could.
After 4 weeks in CHI at Temple Street, I was discharged and could go home. I attended Cavan General Hospital for physio appointments, I did my physio every morning and every night – I was really determined. At this point I was using a walking frame and a wheelchair, and gradually moved onto crutches. Once I was on crutches I returned to school part time.
I was referred to the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire for further treatment and was put in a 6 week programme there. They advised me at the beginning that I might not get back to activities I had done before, but with their help and support I got interested in other things like tennis, swimming and weight lifting and eventually I felt comfortable to start running.
I still have some sensory issues and weakness in my right leg, but I have made a 97% recovery. The staff in CHI at Temple Street were amazing, in particular Dr. Lynch who helped me so much and has inspired me to want to go on to study medicine.
I really wanted to give something back to CHI at Temple Street for all the care they had given me and all the help I have received. I came across the ‘150km Your Way’ fundraiser and thought it would be great to hold my own event.” – Caoimhe, patient and fundraiser