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Family’s rollercoaster week – but Liam is definitely home for Christmas

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After a rollercoaster of a week, the family of Clonberne toddler Liam Mac an tSaoi have been told definitively their “maneen” will be transferred to University Hospital Galway by Christmas Eve with a move home within weeks of that barring any further hiccups.

His mam Louise got a call from the CEO of nursing and midwifery on Monday that the boy’s home care package had been agreed and approved. Late last week following a second meeting with Health Service Executive (HSE), hospital officials said this would take up to a year to finalise.

Louise was also told over the phone that nurses to take of Liam at home and in the hospital had been recruited and would start by January 6.

The hospital was putting in place arrangements to ensure he could leave Crumlin Children’s Hospital by Christmas Eve.

Last Wednesday the family was over the moon when they learned their campaign to bring him home for the first time instead of facing into his fourth Christmas in an isolation unit in Dublin had been successful, with HSE staff assuring them arrangements were on track.

However their hopes were dashed the following day when a different set off of officials stated that the timetable was unrealistic and the budget for the year had already been spent.

Recruitment of nurses and the homecare package would likely take a great deal of time, with the timetable stretching to months, she was told.

That all changed after the phone call on Tuesday.

“It’s big news. Everything is finally looking good. I contacted the TCU (Crumlin hospital unit) to see if I heard wrong and the director of nursing confirmed that the move is imminent. An advocate for tracheotomy patients also rang to confirm it was true,” she explained.

“At the moment though the biggest hiccup to the plans is Liam.”

Over the last few days the three-year-old has fallen unwell and has been diagnosed with RSV, which is an infection that attacks the lungs, which is very serious in Liam’s case as he has chronic lung disease.

“He had it before and he pulled through. He’s got through worse. He has a lot of support for breathing.  We were only saying if he gets through the winter without another  virus his lungs will get strong again. He’ll be monitored closely the next few days and hopefully be on track for next week.”   

The family have decided to take up the offer of a house near the hospital so that they can at least be all together if Liam’s transfer does not go as planned. A catering company has offered to provide with food for a few days over the festive season if they are in Dublin. A good Samaritan has also replaced the four tyres on her car.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Patients vent their spleen over ED chaos

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The new ED at UHG.

Complaints about the Emergency Department of University Hospital Galway (UHG) jumped by 55% last year, the Connacht Tribune has learned.

During 2021, when strict Covid-19 restrictions were in place at UHG, a total of 80 official complaints were lodged about the West’s main public Emergency Department.

But in the following year, official complaints about the Emergency Department at UHG totalled 124.

It represents an increase of 44 complaints, or a year-on-year jump of 55%. It does not include complaints made to frontline staff that were resolved soon after they were made, and only refers to complaints formally assigned to a complaints officer.

A further 13 complaints were lodged but are not included in the total over the two years because the complaints were withdrawn, or consent was not given to progress them.

The increase in complaints to Saolta University Healthcare Group came in 2022, when medical activity returned to pre-pandemic levels, and overcrowding at UHG’s ED dominated the headlines.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Connemara pride in teenager just pipped at the post for Eurovision

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Jennifer Connolly on stage at Eurosong.

Connemara singer Jennifer Connolly was basking in the pride of her community this week – even though she was pipped at the post for the chance to represent Ireland in this year’s Eurovision in Liverpool.

Going by the stage name Connolly, the 19-year-old from Leitir Mealláin was the bookie’s favourite going into the Eurosong contest to pick the Irish contestant on RTE’s Late Late Show.

Her atmospheric number, Midnight Summer Night, scored 32 points, losing out by just two points to the Dublin band Wild Youth’s anthemic We Are One.

She scored highest with the international jury with twelve points, compared to Wild Youth’s ten points – but she lost out by two points from the Irish jury and two points on the public vote.

Wild Youth had the edge in the familiarity stakes, having previously supported Lewis Capaldi, Niall Horan and The Script on tour. Their hit Can’t Move On has been a firm Irish radio hit since its 2018 release.

They certainly appeared very confident onstage last Friday. But few could fault Connolly, who after an initial shaky start blew it out of the park with her strong voice.

This is the first year that the winner was chosen by a combination of an international jury, a national jury and a televote.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

White House hopeful boasts Galway roots

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Galway roots...Steve Laffey.

You wait an eternity for one US President with Galway roots to come along – and then a potential second Galwegian in the White House emerges in quick succession!

Because with earlier confirmation of Joe Biden’s roots embedded deep in Ballinacourty, outside Oranmore, now the first official challenger to Donald Trump’s planned renaissance turns out to be a direct descendant of a North Galway native.

And while Steve Laffey, the former Mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island, might not make it to the final shake-up, he has officially declared his intention this week to seek the Republican nomination to run for the White House next year.

Mr Laffey, who lives in Colorado, is the great great grandson of Michael Laffey from Sunhill, Menlough, according to Mountbellew genealogist Martin Curley, who also established President Biden’s Galway credentials – despite the higher-profile claims of Mayo and Louth to his roots.

Mr Laffey served as mayor of Cranston, a city just outside of Providence, Rhode Island, from 2003 to 2007. He also made an unsuccessful bid for Senate in 2006.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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