Caolan's Story

"The Hospice Staff are so caring and passionate that it didn't take long to realise he was in the best hands."

Meet little Caolan Carlisle, one of the Little Stars we care for at Children's Hospice. Caolan was born via a crash C-section as a result of a uterine rupture. The stress of this caused Caolan to have a stroke and he was deprived of oxygen for a long period of time. He was delivered flat and required resuscitation for upwards of 15 minutes, this along with the stroke he had already suffered, caused irreparable damage to Caolans brain.

Caolan suffered his first epileptic seizure within hours after his birth and was ventilated and cooled for 72 hours in the neonatal intensive care unit. After 8 days in NICU, he was taken back to special care where we were made aware of the extensive damage caused by his birth. His diagnosis was epilepsy and quadratic cerebral palsy. Over the course of the first year and a half of Caolan's life, he spent long periods in hospital in efforts to control his seizure activity and feeding issues that had developed due to his brain damage.

"It was during this time that we were introduced to Angela and Beth from Northern Ireland Children's Hospice." said Leeanna, Caolan's Mum. 

"We were offered rest bite while in hospital initially, which was a massive help at a time when Caolan's condition could change dramatically from hour to hour. Once Caolan was discharged we were able to avail of the Hospice at Home scheme and have him stay in Horizon House both with us and alone."

"At first it felt strange to be leaving him in the care of someone else and going about our normal daily activities with our two older boys, but the staff are so caring and passionate that it didn't take long  for us to realise that he was in the best hands."

"In the years that have passed since we first encountered the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice, the staff have been our shoulder to cry on and a massive source support when we don't know where to turn next."

"Thankfully Caolan is currently in good health and is progressing beyond any milestones we ever thought he would. We will forever be grateful that the hospice showed up at a point when we were at breaking point."