Baby Alex McGrath, who is in Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin in Dublin
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Clonmel mother Rebecca McGrath with the ongoing financial costs of visiting her baby son Alex in Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin in Dublin.
Rebecca from Oakland Drive, Clonmel is waiting five months to bring Alex, who is now 10 months old, home from hospital in Dublin. The latest delay is caused by a lack of nursing staff at an agency the HSE has contracted to provide a homecare package to the family.
Alex suffers from a rare condition called Stickler Syndrome and has also been treated for Pierre Robin Sequence, which is a cleft palate and undersized jaw (micrognatia). This is where the tongue is further back than it should be causing an obstruction to the airways. Due to this condition, he had to undergo a tracheostomy when he was just two weeks old. He has been in Our Lady's Hospital in Dublin since shortly after his birth last November.
He was due to be transferred to South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel on March 25 but funding wasn't provided for extra staffing at the hospital to look after his needs. This meant Rebecca had to continue spending a large portion of the week staying in Dublin. When she brings her seven year-old son Ajay with her they must stay in a hotel.
Now there is a delay in delivering a homecare nursing package approved for Rebecca, which would enable her and her dad Pat to care for Alex at home in Clonmel. The nursing agency contracted to provide the homecare package currently hasn't the nursing staff to provide the seven nine-hour night shifts of nursing care and three five hour daytime nursing care approved to Alex.
Due to the financial pressure Rebecca is under because of Alex's pro-longed stay in Dublin, her family has set up a GoFundMe page called Alex's Fund Tipperary to raise funds for her travel, food and accommodation costs in Dublin and to assist Rebecca to adapt her home to suit Alex's medical needs.
A fundraising table quiz in The Venue Pub in Clonmel in July raised more than €900.
Rebecca said she is overwhelmed by the generosity and support people and local companies have given her.
Anyone who wishes to contribute to the GoFundMe page for Alex should log onto: https://www.gofundme.com/f/7m7fe-alex039s-fund
Check out this longer version of our report on the difficulties Rebecca is encountering in getting her baby Alex home.