Our little 8 year old princess, Emily, was born on 9 January 2009. She was born with a condition called Pierre Robin sequence which required many surgeries. She had a cleft pallet and an under developed chin which compromised her breathing, she also had a tracheostomy and was tube fed and required 24 hour care for the first few years of life. Coming to the end of treating these issues we discovered Emily was also suffering from scoliosis.
Over the years the scoliosis got more extreme and severe until it became very acute. It prevented her from moving around freely and put a lot of pressure on her lungs. Her quality of life had deteriorated greatly, so much so that the doctors decided she would need a spinal fusion surgery.
Emily needed to undergo 6 months of spinal traction in preparation for the surgery, this involved having a metal halo attached to her head and being pulled at tension whilst sitting in a specially adapted wheelchair for 12 hours a day.
We really had no idea what we could do in terms of transport as the chair and pully system is so tall. However, one day the nurses mentioned that a fantastic charity called BUMBLEance might be able to help to bring Emily to and from the hospital, as she was required to go in for scans every other week.
I’ll never forget Emily’s excitement in telling me all the fantastic things the BUMBLEance has, the PlayStation, DVDs and games. Needless to say it really took her mind off the hospital visits and the BUMBLEance operators were absolutely fantastic and made Emily feel like a princess.
The great service BUMBLEance provides allowed Emily to have her treatment at home, where she was comfortable. As parents, we will be forever indebted to everybody at The Saoirse Foundation for the great work that they do and for the difference they made to our lives at such a stressful time.
Emily had her big surgery on the 16th of October and is at home now and doing great.
Thank you so much BUMBLEance for everything.
-John Paul Fitzgerald, Father of Emily, Age 8, Dublin