This year I'm going to do the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon to help raise funds for Temple Street, an amazing hospital that has ensured my baby boy will have a future. Last June (10 weeks early!) we welcomed our beautiful twins Emily and Killian into our lives. Emily stayed for about three weeks in the NICU in the Rotunda (where the staff were fantastic and very supportive) and Killian has spent most of his life to date in Temple Street.
Although they've brought so much love with them, Killian has come with a lot of worry too, as he was born with an exomphalos, which is an abdominal wall defect. Killian's condition has also meant that he needed to get a tracheostomy, which has been the scariest part for us, but he's doing remarkably well and this is due in no small part to the amazing care he has received in the Paediatric ICU of Temple Street. I can do very little for my son at the moment, but the expertise of all his healthcare team and the generosity of others have ensured that he has a great chance to survive and thrive.
Killian is very playful! He loves a wee bit of rough and tumble and being tickled, and although we cannot hear him because of his tracheostomy, I know he's got a real belly laugh! Emily hasn't really looked back since leaving the Rotunda. She's great fun and loves any toy that she can make a lot of noise with.... a trait she shares with her brother. They haven't really spent much time together, with Killian being in intensive care all the time, and with the need to be extra vigilant regarding infection control, we only get to bring her in to him on special occasions. So they don't really know each other just yet, something I'm sure they'll make up for in years to come!
At the moment Killian is doing quite well and we're hoping that he'll get out of the ICU before his first birthday. The future is hopeful, but in Killian's case we've learned not to look too far ahead and to just take it one day at a time. He's been in ICU this long for a good reason, but he's also overcome phenomenal obstacles and smiled through it all, melting hearts all around him!
I have run the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon before, it was in 2014 and I did it for cancer research. This year I'm not quite as fit and I expect I'll only be able to walk the 10km but there are about 60 women taking part this year for ‘Killian Cares for Temple Street’. So far we've raised in excess of €4,000 and that’s just the online donations! I'm looking forward to seeing everyone come together for this amazing cause, and I'm delighted that Killian's story has inspired so many of our friends and family to join us.
I also have a little niece, Caoimhe, who is donating her gorgeous hair to the Rapunzel Foundation and donating any funds raised to Temple Street. She came up with this idea herself and she's only 7 years old! Her mum Nuala and her aunties Sarah and Eva are also running the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon with me on June 6th. It will be a great day.