Tiny little Russell was just six weeks old when he suddenly started struggling to breathe and refusing his food. His worried mums Aisling and Mary immediately took him to the local hospital where he was diagnosed with bronchiolitis.
Unfortunately, Russell’s condition continued to deteriorate and on the third day in hospital, doctors said that he needed to be transferred to Temple Street’s ICU immediately.
Mum Aisling says, “Russell needed to be intubated and sedated. We’ll never forget the moment we said goodbye to him as the nurses prepared him to be transported. He looked so sick – it was very scary.”
Russell was whisked away to Temple Street by ambulance with two attentive medical staff by his side. Aisling and Mary followed anxiously behind in a taxi. Aisling says, “You hear ICU and you think the worst. You imagine mayhem and fear – but that was not the case. We arrived and after Russell had settled, nurse Orla came and explained everything to us in detail – it instantly made us relax.”
Their beloved son was diagnosed with RSV (a respiratory infection), pneumonia, a collapsed lung, bronchiolitis and the adenovirus. It was a lot for the family to take in. “The staff that took care of Russell day and night were so lovely. If we cried they cuddled us and explained what was happening. They asked us if we had any worries and we felt at ease leaving our most precious baby in their hands.”
Finally after a long three days in ICU, the time came to wake Russell and take out his tube. He still needed oxygen but he was finally on the mend. “The lovely nurses were all sneaking in for cuddles. As we left for food or a rest in our family room, we knew that he was being loved and cared for just like his mammies would. Three days later we were allowed to go home – he bounced back so fast, it was incredible!”
During those anxious days, Mary and Aisling faced the difficult task of stepping back and letting the doctors and nurses care for their little boy. With Russell’s big brother JJ to be cared for at home, they had the added stress of being separated as a family.
But Aisling says that the support that they received from the nurses in Temple Street
stands out in her mind. “There was a nurse in ICU named Dora ‘the explorer’ as she introduced herself. She was so funny and friendly. It was nice to have normal conversations with her. She made us laugh until we cried and we will never forget her.”
She adds, “Russell’s nana came into visit him and we explained that he looked very sick. It was quite shocking when we first saw him with tubes in and wires all over his body. But the nurses took the time to explain to her in detail what was going on and reassure her that, although he was very sick, he was quite comfortable. It was heart-warming to see that she was just as important as we were.”
Russell is now two years old and is doing really well, enjoying life at home with big brother JJ and his two devoted mammies Mary and Aisling. Aisling says, “During the winter months he does get lots of chest problems, but thankfully, we have managed to keep him out of hospital. He is a bubbly lil fella with lots of love and cuddles for his family.”