Family of baby Noah 'humbled' by support after his festive ordeal
The family of a baby boy from the Republic who suffered a torrid Christmas Day after his father was forced to drive to Northern Ireland to get him special feeding equipment have thanked the public for their support.
The parents of little Noah Doyle say they have been "humbled" by the goodwill and kindness they received since his ordeal was made public.
Last week Adam Doyle spoke out about how a delay in Noah's application for a medical card being processed had left his son in dire straits.
He revealed that on Christmas Day he had driven from their home in Co Louth to Craigavon Hospital to get special feeding tubes and syringes.
Noah is fed via a nasal-gastric tube and, even though Adam and his wife Rosemarie would reuse the equipment as much as possible, they found they had run out of supplies and were told nothing could be given to them without a medical card.
Since the story broke, many people got in contact with the family to offer support as well as to offer tubes and syringes. "We sometimes think we have lost the sense of goodness, but it is still clearly there," said Adam.
"It was very humbling for us. We know things won't be easy, but it was just great that we had a wee bit of help so we can do all that we can do for Noah."
He confirmed Noah is scheduled for surgery at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Dublin this Wednesday.
However, he and Rosemarie said they are aware that there are other families with their own struggles.
Adam said there are other babies "with issues similar and worse than Noah, with parents having to struggle and fight to get the help these special little people need".
As well as being tube-fed, Noah has a list of conditions which will require ongoing medical care for the rest of his life.
His genetic condition has yet to be formally diagnosed but it has left him with congenital heart disease, severe scoliosis, narrow air and food ways, kidney defects and he has significant physical and intellectual developmental delays.
The family was told last week - five months after he applied for the card, and just hours after Adam wrote a hard-hitting Facebook post to the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar - that the medical card had been approved.
The Republic's health service apologised for the delay. In a statement it said: "There was an administrative delay in the processing of a medical card for baby Noah.
"A medical card was issued to him yesterday (December 30). The Health Service executive has contacted baby Noah's father to apologise for the delay and for any distress the delay may have caused."
While Noah is due to have surgery to remove the nasal-gastric tube and replace it with a PEG feed into his stomach, meaning he will no longer need the syringes and tubes, Adam said "the level of goodness out there has been humbling".