It was only a few weeks into the New Year when 5-week-old Cormac McQuaid began to show signs of being unwell with a high temperature. He was brought to Temple Street’s Emergency Department on 17th January where it was discovered that his little heart was beating very fast.
Doctors and nurses worked hard to bring down his temperature and run a whole host of tests, including a lumbar puncture, to get to the root of the problem. Concerned that he had meningitis, Cormac was admitted to St. Michael’s B Ward.
As the days went on, Cormac’s heart continued to race and his temperature stayed high. He had a full body rash, swollen limbs, bloodshot eyes, swollen glands and dry and cracked lips. After ruling out a number of other viruses and infections, the medical team suspected that Cormac was suffering from Kawasaki Disease – an inflammation that can have complications for the heart. Unfortunately, Cormac was unlucky and suffered from leaky valves and swollen arteries too.
His worried mum Karen says that she and husband took it in shifts to stay by his side, only going home to sleep. She says, “The nurses on St. Michael’s B Ward were amazing. They stayed with him day and night when he was critically ill. They were so reassuring when we didn’t know what to do.”
She says that they were lucky to be able to sleep next to Cormac in his room on the ward, who was always happy to see the doctors and nurses who took such good care of him. “Cormac had his first smile at six weeks and he smiled at a nurse named Louise. Even though he was so small he loved them all – his lovely helpers.”
Karen says that one of the most difficult things to deal with was watching Cormac being so ill and feeling so helpless. Cormac’s two big brothers were looked after by his granny during this difficult time. The family made sure to video chat every day – even catching up with the nurses who reassured the boys that they were looking after their little brother.
These days, Cormac is doing great and his heart has recovered – their only reminder of that worrying time being the aspirin that he has to take daily. Cormac still attends the cardiology and infectious disease departments but has recovered so well – which Karen says is all thanks to the wonderful team in Temple Street.
“Without them recognising and diagnosing Kawasaki Disease, I don’t know if he would be here with us. It’s quite rare and without their knowledge and expertise, he wouldn’t have received the appropriate treatment. He is the happiest little baby you could meet and a joy to have in our family!”