herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Immune system of brave little fighter jack is so low doctors dare not treat him in a hospital

THE mother of a brave Dublin toddler has been told that he should be treated at home and not in hospital because his immune system is low.

Little 18-month-old Jack Richardson was born with Down Syndrome and "floppy airways".

His mum Lisa McMahon found out almost a week after giving birth that he had also suffered a stroke in the womb, leaving him with brain damage and reduced mobility.

Because of his numerous and tragic afflictions, Jack has to be fed through a tube that goes from his mouth to his stomach, and cannot spend an hour without receiving oxygen from a nasal tube.



INFECTED

"One of the consultants in Temple Street doesn't want him to be in the hospital, she would rather he was treated at home because of all the sick kids there," Lisa told the Herald.

The 25-year-old from Swords has even been forced to tell her daughter Brooke (4) that she cannot bring friends back to the house, such is her fear of Jack getting infected.

"If Jack gets sick, it could take him four weeks to recover rather than three days, he is very delicate, and he spent months in the hospital when he was born.

"He was also diagnosed two weeks ago with rare infantile spasms which is another setback because he was put on more medication, and he got an allergic reaction to the one he was on.

"It's called Stevens-Johnson's Syndrome, his skin came off, he was on life support for two weeks and then he was treated like a burns patient for another four weeks, he was lucky to survive," she said.



FIGHTER

The courageous single mother- of-two tries to remain positive about the future despite Jack's unfortunate start in life.

"It's very hard, you have your good days and your bad days, it's emotionally and physically draining, I'm just so sad looking at him, but I can't be crying around my daughter," Lisa said.

"I would never be negative, I know that I'm going to be his carer to the end, but he's a fighter and he'll surprise me.

"At the moment he has no head control, he can't see or take bottles but the hope is that he will walk and have full mobility, and that he will be able to play like a normal child one day, but the hospital can't say that for certain."

The family currently receives help from children's charity, the Jack and Jill Foundation which provides them with practical support delivered at home by nurses.

hnews@herald.ie

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