Jack and Jill child, Lilly Parackal (3) from Galway spent much of the first year of her life in hospital, having been diagnosed with a chromosome 2 imbalance. This left Lilly with developmental delays, heart and lung problems, and needing to be tube-fed.
Speaking to RSVP Live, Jack and Jill mum Edel told Lilly’s story:
“We didn’t know prior to Lilly’s delivery that she would have this medical uphill challenge from the get-go.
“She was born and then she was in Crumlin within four hours. She had an operation on day 10, on her diaphragm, and then she had an operation on the 20th day for her heart.”
“Of course it was a difficult diagnosis to get because there are a lot of things that go with it in terms of medical challenges.
Lilly will need care for the rest of her life.
When Lilly came home from hospital at the age of one, the family began to receive the support of a nurse from Jack and Jill, and continue to receive home nursing care today.
Edel said that the family would struggle to cope without the help of their Jack and Jill nurse:
“Our Jack and Jill nurse gives us back time to spend with our other children, time where we know Lilly is in good, capable hands and we don’t have to worry.
“My parents have passed away, and my husband’s parents are in India, so we don’t have grandparents we can call on to help, so we are very much reliant on the nurses to get a break,” she explained.
On Wednesday, Lily met Connacht Rugby captain Jack Carty with his teammates Gavin Thornbury and Tom Farrell in Galway to launch this year’s Up The Hill fundraiser.