A weight has been lifted off our shoulders – Cillian’s Story 

Published date: 18 April 2024
Cillian's Story Coventry

Our first newsletter of the year shares the story of Cillian, who regularly attends Zoe’s Place. Please make yourself a cup of tea and take a few minutes to read about Cillian’s journey, and how Zoe’s have provided support for the entire family. 

Cillian was born prematurely during lockdown – his tiny body battling against the odds from the moment he entered the world. Mum, Ciara, explains those early moments were a mix of pride and concern, “He was too weak to cry but he was determined to live”. Cillian did not cry when he was born and there was a rush of medical staff supporting with his breathing. 

Cillian has just turned four years old – despite a period in intensive care and his first 18 months seeing regular hospital visits, he celebrates this milestone doing the things he loves. Bouncing on the trampoline, dancing and swimming, his days are filled with energy and enthusiasm. 

However, beneath his cheerful exterior, Cillian bravely battles with congenital Hyperinsulinism, a rare genetic disease, alongside other health issues. His daily routine consists of blood sugar checks, medications, and feeding through a peg tube – this care demands round-the-clock attention. 

Going “from a normal family to full-time caregivers, nurse, and therapists” is the reality for so many of our Zoe’s families. Ciara continues “Even Abi, his teenage sister, helped greatly during COVID” explaining “She would hold him upright for hours to prevent him from vomiting and try to rock him to sleep when he was suffering”

Hearing about Zoe’s finally gave the family hope. Cillian is so excited when he is at Zoe’s particularly in the Sensory Room. 

For the family, Zoe’s in more than just respite; it is a lifeline. Ciara explains “When Cillian is at Zoe’s, it’s like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders” – the family are given the opportunity to relax and “watch the TV in the living room!”. Those little things that mean so much, knowing their child is in safe hands. 

As their journey continues, the family find both strength and comfort at Zoe’s, and Ciara explains “The staff are some of the most genuine Florence Nightingale women I have ever come across.” 

We could not do our work without the support of our local friends, communities, and businesses. To help us continue to help families like Cillian’s, please donate here:

Any donation you may be able to give has a mighty impact here at Zoe’s.  

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