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Random Acts Of Kindness - Katie McDermott

Friday, 21 December 2007

Today is the final Random Act of Kindness this year to be given by The Afternoon Show to a very deserving person!

Katie McDermott
Katie has been nominated by Denise Robertson, This Morning's (ITV) resident agony aunt. Katie was born on 8th July 2005 in Holles St hospital in Dublin, to Malcolm and Rachel McDermott of Rathfarnham; she was small for her dates but as she was feeding, she was discharged.

Within the first two weeks her parents knew something was wrong, as she was vomiting and had persistent diarrhea. The district nurse came to see her and immediately had her admitted saying she was failing to thrive. Katie was in hospital for 6 weeks during which time they found she had a virus which Dr's thought was causing the problem.

By the time Katie was 3 months, she was transferred to Crumlin Hospital, by then she was having septic episodes. Once these were under control she was sent home on Total Parental Nutrition (TPN) and drugs. At this point her father had to give up work to care for her and her bedroom became a hospital room. After four months of doing well, the septic episodes started again and at this point she was referred to Professor Cant's clinic and in March 2006 was admitted to Newcastle General Hospital in England for 1 week for tests and then sent back to Dublin whilst Prof Cant searched the world for a diagnoses. As such, Katie's illness can't be fully identified, as they haven't seen anything quite like it, so until such time they can make a full diagnosis, she has severe autoimmune enteropathy. 

In Dec '06 Katie became very ill and was rushed to A&E Dublin. Her parents were told on Christmas Eve that she was slipping away, however she stabilised and in Jan '07 was transferred to Newcastle General Hospital.  Katie spent 5 weeks in Newcastle and then sent home whilst doctors made a desperate bid to find a bone marrow donor. The great news was that a donor was found in March '07 and Katie was admitted to the Bubble Unit in Newcastle and received her transplant in April '07. However, it wasn't an easy road and in July '07 she became seriously ill and transferred to Paediatric Intensive Care.

In October 2007 Katie left her bubble and is now in a cubicle - the aim is to get her to the halfway house and then home.

Malcolm and Rachel McDermott are presently caring for Katie full time, however Rachel is on extended leave from work and will return to her job when the family eventually move back to Dublin. They are currently living in hospital accommodation for parents of Bone Marrow Transport children, across the road from the hospital.

A big thank you to our friends at SECRETS Shhh jewellery company for their very generous donation of €5000.  This has enabled us to pay for a special visit to Katie from 'Barney', the TV character and has allowed us to treat her parents to a luxury night in a top Newcastle Hotel close to the Hospital, a trolley overloaded with Christmas goodies to make their Christmas Day that as special as possible and £1500 worth of shopping vouchers to make the next year more manageable. 

SECRETS Shhh are an expanding new jewellery company
There are currently two shops in Ireland at Dundrum in Dublin and Winthrop Street in Cork (just off Patrick St)

If you want to surprise that special someone this Christmas with a piece of exquisitely designed and crafted jewellery, SECRETS Shhh offers a range of classic and contemporary designs to suit all tastes.


See below for your nearest store...