Aideen was sent to Temple Street Hospital for tests and she stayed for a week. Then it was back to Drogheda for a few weeks.
I remember thinking ‘everything is going to be fine’; maybe it’s something simple, that can be sorted. After about a month, we took Aideen home and as the weeks went on and more and more tests showed up nothing, I began to realize that this isn’t going to be sorted. Something is wrong.
Aideen was born on the 18 September 2006 and is now 13 years old and in a wheelchair. She can’t walk or talk. She is a brilliant little girl and despite all the hardships that she has endured with genetic testing, she has such a placid nature and we are blessed to be her parents.
In 2011 Aideen’s Liaison Nurse told us about LauraLynn and asked if we would be interested in respite for Aideen. It had been only been open about six months at the time. Myself and my wife Sheona felt we couldn’t leave Aideen on her own as we had attachment issues.
We arranged a visit to LauraLynn and were very impressed with the whole place; they even had accommodation for the parents to stay.
I remember the first time Aideen stayed. Myself and Sheona and our boys stayed over. The boys thought this was great! LauraLynn has been like a home from home for Aideen since. She loves the sensory room and the sensory bath and the staff at LauraLynn does a fantastic job with Aideen and all the children who are lucky enough to stay at LauraLynn.
What LauraLynn means to us as a family
Aideen is the heart of our family, along with her younger brothers. When Aideen is staying in LauraLynn, it gives us a chance to spend some quality time with them. At home, a lot of the time it seems to be about Aideen. When they are young, they don’t really understand but our boys have mentioned to us that we spend more time with Aideen than them.
Over the years, we’ve attended lots of family events with Aideen and the boys, where we can have fun together and meet the other children and parents of LauraLynn. One summer, we attended a sibling day LauraLynn held. Aideen stayed in LauraLynn for the night and my wife and I got to take the boys to the camp for the day. They had a great time climbing; canoeing; doing archery and lots more. At the same time we knew Aideen was been well looked after.
Another time my wife and I went away for a few days on our own, which hadn’t happened for years! Getting someone to look after the boys was no problem but only for LauraLynn taking Aideen, the break would not have been possible. We could relax and enjoy the break knowing Aideen was in good hands. We could even Skype Aideen and talk and see her, as every room is equipped with a monitor for TV, radio and built in PC with Skype, so parents can check in on their child while they are in respite.
Our heartfelt thanks to LauraLynn and all the staff for all the great work and dedication to children and their families.
Chris (Aideen’s Dad)