Caitlin, 4, hailed hero after helping at birth

Published: March 8, 2007 | 5692nd good news item since 2003

A mother gives birth on a bathroom floor; a four-year-old is hailed as a hero.

A local family are still reeling in shock this week after an amazing series of events which saw a four-year-old girl assist her mother in giving birth at home. Without any medical assistance whatsoever, Diane McCrory said she would have panicked much more than she did had her daughter Caitlin not been present at the time.

Thankfully all concerned are now hale and healthy, including baby Pearse.

Diane came to realise that she needed to go to hospital around 2am on Monday morning two weeks ago, when she started experiencing abdominal pains. At that time, she was only days away from the end of her term with her third child. Crucially, there was no midwife on call in the Omagh area and one had to be brought from the Erne Hospital in Enniskillen. It took almost 50 minutes for the help to arrive.

The prolonged incident, which could so easily have ended in disaster, was compounded by the fact that Diane was then treated with disdain by the medical staff on duty at the Fermanagh Hospital.

Diane’s sister-in-law Josephine explained, “My brother Declan had arrived at my house in Killyclogher to take me over to their home at Drummanon Rise at about 3am but by the time we had made it back, Diane had already given birth. Initially, his intention had been to take Diane down to Enniskillen Hospital and I would look after the other children.

“But after Declan and I made it back, Diane had gone into convulsions, she was badly and deeply in shock. Thankfully the paramedics arrived 15 minutes after this. It took another 35 minutes or more for an ambulance to arrive from Enniskillen.”

Josephine continued, “To be fair, the paramedics were brilliant, they arrived very quickly. But the bottom line is, Diane shouldn’t have been giving birth on her bathroom floor, she should have been admitted before that. Pearse certainly made a dramatic entry into the world but Caitlin is a real wee hero.”

Diane took up the story, “I was badly in shock at the time but I am more relieved now that everything worked out well. Caitlin was great. I asked her to get me towels, which she did and then she laid them all out on the bathroom floor. Then I told her to stay outside and I closed the door. She talked to me the whole time through the door, keeping me calm and only for her I would have panicked a whole lot more than I did.

“When Declan and Josephine came back I had gone badly into shock and I could feel myself falling away but it didn’t seem long after that the paramedics arrived. They couldn’t move me until the midwife arrived and that seemed to take ages.

“When I made it to the Erne the staff down there didn’t seem to think what had just happened was a big deal. One said that I should have stayed at home after all. I was taken aback, I didn’t know what to say.

“The whole thing seems like a dream or like it happened to someone else.”

Even though mother and son are making good progress, a small lump has been discovered on Pearse’s spine. He is currently awaiting an appointment at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry. This could take weeks.

“They said it might be nothing but we’ll have to see,” added Diane.

Hospital campaigner and West Tyrone MLA, Kieran Deeny believes this most recent close call yet again highlights the discrimination we are suffering from this far west of the Bann.

“This is unbelievable,” Dr Deeny stated. “It’s like something you’d see in a third world country and this is the reason I entered the politics game.

“We just have to get the Assembly back up and running so we can address this issue. Our mothers and children shouldn’t have to endure such primitive health care. This is totally unacceptable.”

Published in Heroes, Kids & Teens
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