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The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins made an official visit to patients and families of the Transitional Care Unit at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin OLCHC on 13 December 2012.  The hospital has become a home to these patients and families who have had to stay in hospital for exceptional long periods.

Speaking at the event Marie Walsh, parent of Danny Age 3 said:

“When your baby spends so long in hospital you worry that they are missing out on so much. In the Transitional Care Unit at OLCHC everything is done to aide their development. The staff give such time care and nurture to our little babies. They participate in play therapy, music therapy and are monitored by physiotherapists and speech and language therapists. The ward is cheerfully decorated. The kids have access to a big playroom and a sensory room. The kids are constantly being stimulated.”

John Hennessy, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors acknowledged the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins support to the hospital and thanked him most sincerely for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with the patients, families and staff in the hospital’s Transitional Care Unit.

Lorcan Birthistle, CEO at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin said:

“The Transitional Care Unit (TCU) of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital admitted its first patients in January 2006.  TCU was developed in response to a growing need for a more suitable option of care for children who remain dependent on ventilation for respiratory support for long periods of time following an initial illness or congenital abnormality. Advances in paediatric and neonatal technology have resulted in this increased number of children who are medically stable but are dependent on ventilatory support for survival. Previously these children could only be cared for in an Intensive Care Unit which is not appropriate for the needs of a child requiring long term care. The development of TCU has allowed more beds to be available for acute admissions of critically ill children and for those requiring post operative care following major surgery. The focus of this child-friendly unit is on the preparation for discharge to home where possible or to a suitable facility near to a child’s home area. TCU provides a facility where the emphasis is on the developmental, emotional, psychological and social needs of the child and their family.”

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