Beth our beautiful baby daughter passed away on 11th April after a brave three and a half month journey in the CUMH Neonatal ICU. To honour Beth and to help sick babies like her, we will be running in the Westport 10k and Half Marathon on the 10th August to raise much needed funds for The Jack & Jill Foundation.
Beth’s story Beth was born on the 27th December 2018 in CUMH, Cork. We were overjoyed to welcome a baby girl into our family. At 3lb 8 oz, she was a beautiful little doll and looked just like her big brother Matthew. Our joy turned quickly to anguish and heartache when we received the difficult news that our little girl was very sick. Beth was admitted to the Neonatal ICU where she would be cared for so expertly and lovingly by the wonderful staff there over the months ahead. We learnt over time that Beth had a serious neurological condition and sadly her life would be limited. Despite the diagnosis, our brave girl overcame many obstacles, often against all the odds, and in April we were beginning to make preparations to bring her home. Beth would face significant challenges with breathing and feeding and would need round the clock intensive medical care. We knew it would be very difficult and our lives were changed forever, but we also knew that looking after our beloved and precious baby would give us great purpose.
During this time in the hospital, The Jack & Jill Foundation was already a part of our lives, reaching out to reassure us that they would be there to help nurse Beth at home – as they do for families with children up to the age of 5, with severe neurological and palliative conditions. The Jack & Jill Foundation liaised continually with hospital staff and in the background, all the necessary arrangements were being put in place for Beth’s transfer home. It was a huge relief that they were supporting us through such an uncertain and difficult time.
On the morning of April 11th, Beth’s condition changed suddenly and that evening our beautiful baby girl passed away very peacefully in our arms and with her loving brothers by her side.
Our hearts are broken with the loss of Beth. Amidst the deep grief, we feel so grateful and honoured that Beth came into our world for three and a half very precious months and her short life had and continues to have great purpose.
Beth brought many important gifts and lessons; one has been opening our eyes to the significant challenges being faced by families looking after their very sick children at home – we now empathise so deeply with these families. We experienced first-hand how The Jack & Jill Foundation is a lifeline to these families, many of whom receive limited or restricted support from the State.
The Jack & Jill Foundation is not State funded and relies almost solely on donations to provide for the nearly €3.5 million per year that it takes to offer these services. Every €16 raised gives 1 hour of invaluable specialist nursing care to families. Please see www.jackandjill.ie/ for more info.
To raise funds for Jack & Jill, Team Beth will take part in the Westport 10k & Half Marathon on 10th August. On our team will be Eoghan and myself and our great friends, Caroline Sweeney, Chris McDermott and Alex Courteney. We know there will be a very special wind at our back also.
Please support The Jack & Jill Foundation and us by donating here – thank you all so much for your continued kindness and support (it has been immense over the past few months).