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Coca-Cola is encouraging safety on the roads this Christmas as it launched its annual Designated Driver initiative Photo by: Photocall Ireland

Ireland's Eye, a roundup of top Irish news stories, Nov 20 2013

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Coca-Cola is encouraging safety on the roads this Christmas as it launched its annual Designated Driver initiative Photo by: Photocall Ireland

Miracle Baby

A courageous Limerick couple that had seven miscarriages and a baby who died shortly after being born want to give hope to others after having a beautiful little girl.

After an unimaginable nine years for her parents, Ellianna Hope Marie Thompson will be 18 months old next week. Ellianna means “God has answered me.”

Proud mum and dad Noreen and Ger, who live in Murroe, have told their story to help those who have had miscarriages.

On Sunday, Ger was asked to speak at the annual remembrance Mass for babies in the Holy Rosary Church on the Ennis Road. He did so through “a fog of tears,” and Noreen said the “whole church was sobbing.”

“Like all couples we thought it was a case of not if, but when we would have our first baby. We couldn’t have been more wrong and Noreen and myself would face a nine year, almost 10 year battle.

“I remember when Noreen told me the first time she fell pregnant. We were the happiest couple in the world but it was short-lived and Noreen suffered an early miscarriage.

“As you could imagine we were both devastated so we slowly got back to normal life and it wasn’t long, maybe a few months or so, before Noreen fell pregnant again. This pregnancy also resulted in a miscarriage,” said Ger.

Then there were complications following a procedure on her womb. She had to have emergency surgery to correct a perforated bowel and uterus.

“I couldn’t believe this had happened, as if the miscarriage wasn’t hard enough to deal with -- now she had massive surgery to get over too,” said Ger.

Noreen was told when she woke up that she had nearly died.

It would take them over a year to recover from this “nightmare” both mentally and physically.

“Over the next number of years Noreen fell pregnant another three times. We suffered early miscarriages, never making it past the first trimester.

“Noreen’s sixth pregnancy was different but the result was no better. She went to the hospital in some pain and discomfort. The pregnancy was ectopic.

“Noreen was sent to University Hospital Limerick where she had to undergo a medical termination. It was almost like it was normal life dealing with loss at this stage and we were getting weary from it, but nothing in the world would prepare us for what was to come. If this life story could get any worse, it did.”

In their seventh pregnancy they went home with their first picture of a baby after a three-month scan.
“We were more than delighted and felt the winds of change had shifted in our favor. We were flying,” said Ger.

However, during a holiday in Cork, Noreen got pains and went into labor at just 22 weeks.

“The nurses and doctors informed us that our little baby would not survive once delivered and baby Kayla Elizabeth Thompson was born at around 5 a.m.

“She let out three little cries and every time I put my head down, even to this day, I hear them. I heard them last night and I will hear them again tonight.

“Kayla passed away shortly after being born at just under a pound. I could hardly believe this had happened, it was like I was outside myself looking in,” he said.

At this stage they thought “never again.”

“It was just too hard,” Noreen says. But the couple found the strength to continue and Noreen fell pregnant again. She miscarried near Christmas.

On the ninth occasion the pregnancy reached three months but there was no excitement at the photo of the scan.

At 16 weeks Noreen was taken into the University Maternity Hospital.

“We made it to 20 weeks, surely this was our time -- life couldn’t deal us another bad hand. We made 22 weeks then 23, 24, 25, 26, it was unbelievable. Noreen kept going and going and at 33 weeks and three days while in room 33 on May 19, 2012 Noreen went into labor and finally gave birth to a baby girl weighing 4 pounds, 6 ounces called Ellianna Hope Marie,” said Ger.

After being in the neonatal ward for two and half weeks they brought her home on June 6.

“We couldn’t be more grateful for what we have or more thankful. It’s been almost a 10-year fight.

oreen is an amazing woman with great courage and I hold her head and shoulders above any other woman I know. She is a rock and I will be forever in her debt for giving me my daughter. I love and admire her,” said Ger.
- Limerick Leader

Hole for Sale

An advertisement has appeared on Done Deal selling a hole in Co. Longford.

While it does not specify exactly where the hole is, the ad does state that it can be transferred to a new home. It is described as “big hole for sale. A real fine hole it is.”

The hole is priced at €1,000,000 and the seller invites “all txts, private numbers, hole kickers or time wasters” (sic) to view the hole.

There is also a photograph of a shovel in the hole; however, it is not clear at this time if the shovel is part of the deal.
- Longford Leader

Tractor Ordeal

A farmer who spent close to 20 hours pinned to the ground by a tractor wheel is making a good recovery in Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar. Martin Devaney from Erritt, Gorthaganny, a few miles from Ballyhaunis, was discovered by a neighbor who became concerned when he heard the noise of a tractor over a sustained period of time and went down the field to check if all was okay.

It is understood that Devaney, who is in his late 60s, was on his land around 3 p.m. on a recent Saturday when his hand got stuck under the tractor wheel as it rolled back. He was unable to release it as he was face down at the time.

Devaney remained there through the bitter cold night until, fortunately, an alert neighbor found him around 10 a.m. the next morning.  The emergency services were called and Devaney was freed from his ordeal. He was taken by ambulance to Castlebar where it is understood he has since undergone some corrective surgery on the injured hand.

“He’s a very lucky man to have survived the incident,” said a neighbor. “It was bad enough to be pinned down by the tractor but to have to survive the cold and discomfort was horrible.”
- Mayo News
 
Saving a Life

A kind-hearted classroom assistant has spoken of her relief at helping a vulnerable man to safety after a planned suicide attempt in Belfast.

Emma Murray, 22, an assistant at Greenisland Primary, was on her way home from Belfast where she also works as a child minder on Wednesday, November 6, when she spotted a “sad, heartbroken-looking man” climbing a bridge near the West Link.  Murray immediately knew something was terribly wrong and decided to do whatever she could to help.

 "I noticed a man climbing onto the bridge and immediately knew there was something wrong. I couldn't believe no-one else had tried to help him,” she said.

“I managed to get my car onto the hard shoulder and spoke to another motorist who was already there, but he was in the process of contacting emergency services. Another man, who I assumed was a road worker was also there, but he was just watching.

“I told them the man needed help and someone should try and talk to him to calm him down because he was in a terrible state. The other motorist told me to wait for police and the ambulance, but I thought if I had, considering the state he was in, it would have been too late. The man was doubled over, with his head in his hands, crying and shaking -- he looked really lost and heartbroken.

“I climbed up myself and stood around the corner and asked the man if I could talk to him. At first he was quite reluctant, but then told me his name. I asked him what was wrong and he said he didn't want to talk about it because he didn't know me. He just kept saying he was really sad and didn't want to live any more.

“So I thought I would tell him all about me, where I was from, that I lived with my mum, dad, two brothers and dog and about my jobs.

“I asked him about his life, and family and he told me he was from a family of eight, and had just got out of rehab for alcohol abuse on Wednesday, but had nowhere to live and no-one to help him.”
- Carrickfergus Advertiser

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