Caoimhe’s Temple Street journey began when she was referred to the hospital from Galway, suffering with pneumonia and a leaking appendix. The journey across the country was an anxious one for her parents Michelle and Paul, who worried about what lay in store for their little girl.
Their first hours in Temple Street went by in a blur, as Caoimhe was whisked to Top Flat and they met with the medical team who would be looking after her. It was a difficult time for Caoimhe in particular, who had already undergone a number of tests in Galway, but mum Michelle says the medical staff talked her through the tests that needed to be done.
The following day, a scan by the radiologist revealed that Caoimhe had developed a cyst between her liver and kidney, which would need to either subside or be drained. Michelle says, “Paul and I found this time very tense, as you’re watching the radiologist, hoping that she tells you what you want to hear. Thankfully, after a number of weeks, it did reduce and there was no need for an intervention.”
However, Caoimhe needed to wait for her appendix to stabilise before she was well enough to undergo the removal operation. In the meantime, she was looked after in Temple Street and even attended the hospital school during her time here.
Michelle says that the play therapy team would bring games to her bedside when she was feeling too sick to move. “When she was able, we would take a walk to the playroom. It was a child’s paradise, equipped with up-to-date games, toys and excellent staff. They had everything under one roof and carried on with smiles on their faces all the time. I thank God every day for what they did for Caoimhe.”
It was hard for Michelle to watch other families take their little ones home, and she wondered how long it would be until she could bring Caoimhe back home to Galway. It was hard too for Caoimhe’s sister Aimee, who missed her terribly and visited as often as possible. At first it was difficult for Michelle to take even a short break from her daughter’s side. “I was reluctant to leave her at first but she was so happy
watching the Karate Kid on her personal TV. I went outside for twenty minutes and was so thankful to have the opportunity to clear my head and shed a few tears. I was worn out by all the highs and lows we had been through over our time there.”
After four weeks in Top Flat, it was finally their time to go home. Michelle says that she felt emotional leaving. They had made great friends during their time in the hospital, and were so thankful for everything that had been done for Caoimhe. Shortly after, little Caoimhe was finally well enough to have her operation and she hasn’t looked back since!
Michelle says, “Temple Street holds a very special place in our hearts always, and I’d like to thank everyone who looked after our ‘Galway Girl’ who even did an Irish dance and entertained the other patients before we left. You will never be forgotten in our household.”