A three-week old Irish baby is in serious condition in a Swedish hospital after he developed problems breathing.

Daniel Collins, from Gurranabraher in Co. Cork, was born a healthy baby on June 24 last.

He was just a week old when he contacted a virus that left him unable to breath of his own accord. He became completely dependent on a ventilator for his next breath.

A respiratory expert from Sweden flew in to Cork to see Daniel and was so alarmed by his state that he suggested he be taken by air-ambulance to a state-of-the art children’s hospital in Stockholm where he has been treated for the past week. 

His parents, Deirdre Collins and Vincent O'Sullivan, are by his bedside night and day praying that their new baby will fight the virus affecting his little body and be able to resume a normal life again.

Little Daniel has an extremely rare form of a respiratory illness called Adenovirus. It’s similar to the common cold but can be much more fatal. Because Daniel is a newborn baby it has hit his body really hard.

After showing signs of illness just a week after his birth, Daniel was rushed to Cork University Hospital where he was treated until flown to Sweden last week. He started off on oxygen and ended up with a ventilator strapped to his bedside to assist him in his breathing.

“We nearly lost him last Saturday night. He was given a blood transfusion and a drug that saved his life," his uncle Kenneth Collins told the Belfast Telegraph at the weekend.

Collins has spent the past week in Stockholm with Daniel's parents.

"He has had two operations over the last few days because he got a blood clot," he said.

"It is very hard, but right now he is stable. The people in the hospital in Sweden are the nicest in the world. Daniel is on an antibiotic to build up his immune system.

"He also is on a dialysis machine to draw fluids from his body," he added.

Daniel has two older siblings, Shaun (5) and Anthony (11).