Two-year-old Neil Shanahan fell from a sixth-floor balcony at The Strand Hotel in Limerick five weeks ago, and was sent home this morning after making an amazing, full recovery at Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin.
His mother Martina believes that a series of miracles, as well as an American nurse who happened to be on site after Neil’s fall, are the reasons her son is alive and well.
"I believe it was a miracle. I believe I got a dig-out, I really do," she said.
The mother of three is thrilled to have her son back home in Farranshone, Limerick, with his father, his younger brother Billy, 1, and older brother Mairtín, 5, who was born with cerebral palsy. The incident has left the family on an extreme emotional rollercoaster.
"It is just wonderful to get [the three brothers] all back together, because I had to hand over my little boy, our baby, for five weeks, so that wasn't an easy thing. It is lovely to have us all back as a unit. It's just so special, it's a lovely time," Martina said.
An American nurse who was on a tour of Ireland happened to be standing at the site of Neil’s fall when the incident occurred, and she resuscitated the child.
"I just saw her breathe life back into him," Martina said. "When he coughed and when he moaned, I just knew he wasn't dead. It was an amazing thing that she was there, and that she was on site at that moment. I just feel so thankful to her.”
“She is my angel,” the emotional mother said. “We firmly believe she saved him."
The family had been at the hotel for a coffee morning when Neil ventured onto the elevator that took him to the sixth floor -- he happened his way onto the rooftop balcony before falling to the ground. According to the Irish Independent, an eyewitness saw the child holding onto one of the large letters spelling out the hotel’s name before losing grip.
Neil is in great form and hasn’t a scratch on him -- he’s made a full and perfect recovery after five weeks in the ICU.
“He's my life. I would never have gotten over it if we had lost him," Martina said.
The family extends their gratitude to the amazing staff at Temple Street Children’s Hospital, to friends and family who’ve offered their strength and support, and to the American nurse, who the family was able to spend some time with while in Dublin.