Its 5.15am on Wednesday 9th January 2013 and I’m finding it difficult to get back to sleep. Since the 22nd December, our worst nightmare has been hovering round basically scaring the life out of us. Declan had been coughing for a number of days, but in himself he felt good. The cough was dry, so we weren’t too worried.
As it was the weekend before Christmas, we decided to take him to the ‘open access’ ward at the Royal to get him checked over. He was sent home with antibiotics. Approximately, six hours later, we decided to call an ambulance. He had deteriorated very quickly. We found out afterwards that due to his condition and his recorded lung function that he should have been admitted to hospital and put on intravenous antibiotics.
Christmas morning came and we didn’t know if Declan would be able to come home or not. We had already decided to wear silly Christmas jumpers and hats this year, so we, the family, made our way to the hospital to make the day special, regardless of whether or not he could come home. Thankfully, he was allowed home to celebrate the day with us all.
Declans uncle Matt was chief chef. We all enjoyed the lovely turkey dinner he made for us on this extra special day. Ali is the oldest of four and her three siblings are more like brothers and sister to Declan. We all enjoyed a day of fun and laughter. In fact, we had a fantastic day.
Although there would just be Ali, Declan and myself here for New Years Eve, we were looking forward to celebrating it together. Unfortunately, fate took over and we ended up welcoming 2013 on ward 14 at the Royal.
Declan had developed a high temperature on the 30th, so we took him back into hospital. We cannot take chances now that his lungs and heart are affected by this horrible disease Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
The last ten days have consisted of ups and downs, highs and lows. Just as we think that Declan is on the mend, his temperature goes up again. I hate having to go to work, leaving Ali to cope alone with the worry. Prayers are being said for Declan in different parts of the country, which is a comfort to us as we know he is loved by so many people.
Between the power of prayer and love, we hope he will manage to fight this hurdle of pneumonia and bronchitis and soon be back at school.
Yesterday, having been at work, I drove to the hospital and arrived just after 6pm. I was surprised to see the state that Declan was in. He had been coughing for over an hour and his chest was still full of secretions even though different methods had been tried to clear it for him. It was decided that the ‘on call’ physio would have to come to the ward to work his magic on Declan. By the time he came, Declan had been coughing for over two hours and getting weaker by the minute. His temperature had gone up and he had been violently sick.
It wasn’t pleasant watching what he had to go through, but by the time I left the hospital just before eleven o’clock, Declan was sat up in bed chatting to me. Another hurdle had been crossed with success.
Silent tears have been cried and many prayers have been said. We are all hoping that Declan will be able to continue to fight this cruel disease and come home soon. Our New Year celebrations will take place when he is back with us all.
In the meantime, we still hate what life has thrown at us as a family, but we will stay strong for our special, brave wee man, and make his life as happy as we possibly can.
A Happy New Year to one and all.
Kate O’Melly, proud grandma.