04 Jul 2022

Mary Poppins comes to Birr for one day only!


Mary Poppins comes to Birr for one day only!

Charity Film Screening of Mary Poppins will take place on Saturday 3rd March 2018 in Birr Theatre & Arts Centre in aid of Friends of the Coombe. This event has been inspired by the story of baby Tom Fahey who died of an uncommon chromosomal abnormality when he was just 11 days old. It was the compassionate care that baby Tom and his family received from the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital that moved mum and dad Sarah and Terry Fahey to seek support for Friends of the Coombe.

“We will never forget the care Tom and we, as a family, received from the staff at The Coombe. They played such an important role in Tom’s life. They cared for us and supported us.

This fundraising effort in Birr is part of a larger project which concludes with cross country 400 km cycle on the weekend of 6-8th April. Utilising the hospice ethos, the monies raised will be used to renovate three en-suite rooms to create a family-friendly home away from home that will afford bereaved parents both comfort and dignity. As a large tertiary referral centre in Dublin many high risk pregnancies as well as very ill or premature babies from all over Ireland are referred to the Coombe Hospital for specialist care

Sarah concluded by saying “the Coombe played such an important role in Tom’s life. They cared for us and supported us. They shared our journey. Thank you so much to the staff members of Birr Theatre & Arts Centre who are doing so much to assist the organizers of this event to ensure that it is a success and for sharing in this journey also.”

Tickets for the film screening are €5 available at Click Here or phone 057 9122911.

On Monday 27th July 2015 Sarah Fahey's world changed forever. Her baby was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards Syndrome, at the 20 week scan. She was numb. "I remember lying there hearing the words but almost zoning out thinking this cannot be happening to us" she stated.

She hadn’t planned on finding out the sex of the baby, but her husband asked. The sonographer told them their baby was a boy. Sarah stated that in the car on the way home it was so hard to reconcile the fact that she could feel him moving yet she was told he was going to die.

Sarah and her husband's first instinct was to give this little guy a name. They decided to call him Tom. By naming him, as parents they hoped they would give him a strong sense of belonging. For them, his life started that day because they knew he would have a very short life, if any, outside the womb.

After they had gotten over the initial shock they quickly realised that they had two choices:

1. They could spend Tom’s life feeling sad and miserable

2. or they could celebrate it.

"I didn’t want Tom to feel the sadness. We had an overwhelming desire to breathe as much love and life into him while he was with us" Sarah stated.

Tom was born on the 30th October 2015 and, to everyone’s amazement, he lived for 11 wonderful days.

From the moment they got Tom’s diagnosis until the day he passed away and still to this day, the staff at the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital have been incredible to Sarah and her Husband.

They were treated with dignity and compassion by every member of staff they came into contact with, whether the staff were medical, administrative, support or auxiliary. There is a strong compassionate ethos that is almost innate in all of them.

"The care Tom and I received both in pregnancy and beyond was amazing. Our obstetrician gave us an enormous sense of security. We knew we were in safe hands. This took a lot of the worry off us and allowed us to focus on the present and be present with Tom. The neonatal nurses looked after Tom so well. I stayed awake with Tom for the first 72 hours of his life and I always looked forward to seeing the nurses coming in to feed him every three hours. The paediatricians known to us in pregnancy and present at Tom’s birth treated him with the utmost concern and dignity" Sarah recalled.

The emotional support they received from the bereavement midwife was phenomenal. She was very much their ‘life support’. She was with them every step of their journey and at their lowest points she carried them through. It is testament to her and the care they received from her that their first instinct was to ring her when Tom died.

"To lose your baby in your arms is indescribable, but to hear her voice on the other end of the phone gave us strength. She continues to give us that strength" Sarah stated.

They never felt rushed at any of our appointments or scans. They were encouraged from the beginning to embrace our time with Tom and start memory making. The bereavement midwife introduced them to the idea of the memory box early on and she made sure they left the hospital with their memory box full of precious keepsakes from Tom’s time in hospital such as locks of his hair and his footprints.

"It was incredible to have people like the bereavement midwife and chaplains looking after us and, because of their previous experiences, they simply knew what to do" Sarah recalled happily.

They never felt they were alone on this journey. The staff helped make an extremely difficult time an incredibly special time. When Tom was born and the subsequent days they spent with him in hospital were magical. It was as if time had stopped and they were living in a bubble. They were cared for as a family unit throughout. The three of them stayed together day and night on a ward away from the hustle and bustle of a busy hospital and healthy crying babies. They looked forward to their daily visits from doctors, nurses, bereavement midwife, chaplains and paediatricians. They very much became Tom’s second family.

When they left the hospital with Tom, The Coombe were very much still involved in their care and helped support them as they looked after Tom at home for six very short but precious days.

The staff at The Coombe played such an important role in Tom’s life. They cared for Sarah, her husband and Tom and supported them. They shared their journey.

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