Lauren and Amelia O’Donovan Family Story

Hear first-hand from Lauren O'Donovan about her family's experience of Enable Ireland services for her daughter Amelia.

Children's Services
Mum and baby

At 3 months old, I woke up to my little girl Amelia vomiting and was grey in colour. We rushed Amelia to Wexford General Hospital (we were on holiday there) and the Emergency Department began doing tests. She was limp and had no reaction as they put the canula in her hand. With IV antibiotics she came around and after 3 days were about to be discharged when the seizures started.

Having had 2 failed attempts at a Lumbar Puncture we were transported to Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin with Amelia being given anti-seizure medication to ensure she didnt have a seizure in the ambulance. We had a CT scan on arrival and the Lumbar Puncture afterwards. The results came back negative for Meningitis so more tests followed. The seizures got worse over the coming days and the anti-seizure medication was increased.

After what felt like an age we were told that Amelia had contracted Rotavirus but the cause of the seizure activity was still unknown. After multiple tests and scans we were told that she had suffered a stroke from the toxins caused by Rotavirus. It is very rare that this happens and the Consultants at Crumlin hospital were as shocked as we were from the MRI result. We were told that the stroke occurred in the right side of her brain and that there was damage done to her motor functions.

We were referred to Enable Ireland Tymon North after she was discharged. We have had multiple assessments and reviews with the Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists. The level of attention and care we have received from them has been outstanding. Each time we saw the staff at Enable Ireland Tymon North they gave us ways to encourage her to move and retrain her muscles. We did these daily with her.

The first noticeable thing was her vision. She could not focus on people, images or objects. Reverting to sound and black and white images she eventually began following them and her vision has much improved. 

Her left arm and leg appeared to be weaker than her right side. Using bigger objects to encourage use of both hands enabled us to strengthen her left hand and arm. We also held back her right hand to encourage more movement in her left hand. Although she was beginning to get into the crawl position her left leg was not bending. Using cushions and our legs for support she began to bend her left leg. 

We are currently awaiting results from the HINE and HAI assessments. 

I am proud and elated to say that Amelia is crawling now and starting to pull herself up to stand. To say we didn't think we would see happen is an understatement.

From the bottom of my heart I want to thank all the staff at Enable Ireland Tymon North for their help and support in enabling Amelia to get to where she is today. 

Having heard our story I hope that you can donate what you can for Enable Ireland so that they can continue to provide the support and services to people and families such as ourselves.