Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

April 28, 2010

Running for Darragh

On Monday, 7th June, I will be joining a group of 29 other women to run the Dublin Women's Mini Marathon. We are running to raise €5,000 to supply vital equipment in the cardiac unit of Crumlin Children's Hospital in Dublin and I am asking for your support. The reason why we are doing the run is explained below. This was written by baby Darragh's mum Claire, my husband's cousin.

Baby Darragh McGarry was admitted to hospital on the 15th Nov 2009, aged 7 weeks. He had a slow weight gain but was otherwise a very normal baby. He was diagnosed with an extremely rare heart condition and the only way to treat Darraghs condition was surgical.

The cardiac team were unable to repair Darragh’s heart valve and had to fit a mechanical valve. This procedure brought risks and uncertainty due to the rarity of the condition. Such was the degree of trauma to Darragh's heart during surgery, his heart had no function and to keep him alive, Darragh was put on an ECMO machine. An ECMO machine is similar to a heart-lung machine. It pumped blood around Darraghs body to give his heart time to recover. ECMO is usually only considered as a last resort.

Darragh was on this machine for five days, during which his heart function started to come back and improve each day. Unfortunately, an ECMO machine can cause blood clots, which could prove fatal to Darragh. So the sooner he was off the ECMO machine, the better.

On Monday 22nd November, he was taken off the machine and was beating his little heart on his own. A few days later his chest drains were removed and a few days after that his chest was closed. Each day, he was making improvements. He was then taken off his ventilator.

As the days passed, he was accepting more milk through his tubes and his medicines too, so the amount of IV lines he needed to give him his medicines, were decreasing. Until he just had one left, which was his blood thinner. At this stage Darragh had beautiful gummy smiles for Mammy and Daddy and all the nurses and doctors. Every day he was looking better. Darraghs consultant described what was happening as a miracle. Nobody expected him to do so well. Darragh was then moved to a less intensive ward having spent 18 days in the main ICU. The staff were trying to get him off his final IV and have all his drugs done orally through his tube so he could move to the normal heart ward. This was not to be.

On the 8th Dec, Darragh deteriorated. An echo scan revealed a blood clot was preventing his mechanical valve from working and his heart began to fail.

On Wednesday 9th Dec, after every effort was made to try to shift or dissolve the clot were unsuccessful, Darragh decided it was time to go to heaven and live with the angels. He died at 1.45pm in his Mammy’s arms surrounded by his family. Darragh was the most beautiful, brave and amazing little boy anyone could ever meet and we are so proud to call him our little boy and guardian angel. His memory will live on forever.

Our Ladys Hospital, Crumlin is the most wonderful place and needs funds all the time. Hundreds of babies and children are waiting for life saving operations now. Every penny counts. Please help us to help Crumlin in Darraghs memory.

To add a donation and support Darragh's family in their amazing efforts to raise funds, please click
Darragh's donation page. To donate, scroll over to the top right corner of the page.

Thank you on behalf of Claire, Brian, Ceire and Darragh.



  1. I am sat in tears, I will be making a donation once MadDad has been paid

  2. Done. xx

    (This blogging world is so small. I just posted about doing a half marathon for charity too.)

  3. This is so, so sad, every parents nightmare. I spent 4 nights in Crumlin last Christmas and saw so many sick little babies. It makes you appreciate how lucky you are to have a healthy child. Will donate soon x

  4. Heartbreaking story, it makes me realise how lucky I am.
    Have made a small donation. Good luck with the run x

  5. Thank you all so much for your kind words and support - it is hugely appreciated and I'll make sure I run my little socks off.

  6. Thank you so much to you all from myself, (Darraghs mammy), and all my family. We appreciate your donations and kind words so very much. Thank you xxx

  7. I am off to donate now -only popped over to say meme at mine for you. Now I am in tears and it all seems a bit rubbish

  8. I'm sat here in tears now and am off to donate x x

    Good luck on your run


Blog Widget by LinkWithin