Parents Marie & Stephen McCloskey raised €20,000 at the Bros OfTralee event they held in 2017 that was split evenly between 4 Charities: The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at The Rotunda Hospital, where their sons Odhrán and Naoise were born, Sligo University Hospital, Temple Street Hospital and Hugh’s House.
What a Brilliant Fundraising Initiative look at these Beautiful Bros.
Parents Marie and Stephen McCloskey tell us why they organised this fundraiser.
On 27th May 2015 our sons, Odhrán and Naoise were born by emergency C-Section in the Rotunda Hospital Dublin, at 28+2 weeks gestation. Odhrán weighed in at 1250g, or 2lb 12oz in old money, and Naoise weighed in at 1040g, or 2lb 4.5oz in old money! Both boys were born crying which meant they were breathing on their own, something most parents take for granted, we held our breath for!
Early brain scans showed Odhrán was born with a Grade 2 brain bleed, this eventually absorbed itself and thankfully has left no lasting effects. Odhrán had his first ‘feed’ when he was 1 day old, it was a massive 1ml of milk…Naoise had his first ‘feed’ the following day, again a massive 1ml of milk!
When the boys were 2 and a half weeks old, we were told Naoise was suffering from suspected NEC, this is an infection of the bowel which can be very serious for premature babies. It meant Naoise was taken off milk for 10 days and started on a course of antibiotics but thankfully it was never confirmed and Naoise was reinstated on his 1.5ml feeds.
On the day Naoise was put back on his feeds, he also received his first of 3 blood transfusions, we were told when the boys arrived, this would be a roller coaster ride, and that it was!
We stayed under the excellent care of the Rotunda NICU for 5 weeks, Odhrán transferred across to Sligo first, paving the way for his brother Naoise to follow 4 days later.
After 2 weeks in Sligo NICU, Naoise again developed some tummy issues and was transferred back to Dublin, this time to St Michael’s B High Dependency Unit in Temple Street. We now had a Son on the West Coast and a Son on the East Coast. We arrived in Dublin at 1.30am on a Tuesday morning, with accommodation sorted for only that night. A very kind lady called Bernie put us in touch with Ade Stack, founder of Hugh’s House on Parnell Square. Hugh’s house was established to house families of sick babies attending Temple Street or premature babies born in the Rotunda or Holles Street hospitals. Ade and her partner Marty established Hugh’s house in their late sons name. Hugh’s house was our Home away from home for the 2 weeks Naoise was in Temple Street. During Naoise’s 2nd week in Temple street, we were told Odhrán was getting ready for discharge home, somehow this news got back to Ade and Marty, who went out and sourced a new cot, mattress, blankets etc for Odhrán and had them waiting in our room with the message, this was Odhráns home too for as long as we needed it. We will never be able to put into words what all those acts of kindness did for us, Ade and Marty are truly amazing people.
Finally after 8 weeks and 11 weeks respectively, Odhrán and Naoise were ready to shake off the hospital gowns and hit the road for Gortermone, and we were only too ready to take them! We have never looked back Thank God. Our boys have hit every developmental milestone, if not on time then early, and all under the excellent care of Sligo’s Physiotherapist Sheila Kiely. We will never take for granted how lucky we are and it is because of this we decided to do this fundraiser to give just a little bit back to all those who helped us along the way.
We are very lucky to have had an amazing group of people who worked with us to make this night possible where all proceeds raised €20,000 was split evenly between our 4 Charities: The Rotunda Foundation for the NICU team at The Rotunda Hospital, Sligo University Hospital, Temple Street Hospital and Hugh’s House.
It was a night of great craic and shenanigans, where every penny raised has gone towards helping our smallest, toughest babies. We thank all our wonderful supporters who made all this possible.
Marie & Stephen McCloskey
Will you have a Bro of Tralee event and raise funds for The Rotunda Foundation? Contact our Team for further information we would be happy to help you.