Belfast Telegraph

Monday 5 October 2015

Little Santa brings joy to swine flu mum

Published 04/01/2010

An Omagh mum who contracted swine flu days after giving birth, leading to her being flown to London for specialist treatment, got a visit from her own special little Santa as she spent Christmas Day in hospital.

Shirley Hamilton (36) almost died after contracting the virus days after giving birth to Thomas Michael in November.

While still not fit enough to go home to celebrate with her family, her baby boy was brought to her instead, dressed up in Santa’s famous red and white suit.

The mum-of-three was in a coma for a month after being rushed to Royal Brompton Hospital in London but was allowed to return to the Erne Hospital in Enniskillen after coming round just weeks before Christmas.

On Christmas Day she got a heartwarming visit from her son and 12-year-old twin daughters Leanne and Michelle as well as other family members for a family get-together.

Shirley’s mum Anne said that while “upset” she could not get home for Christmas, her daughter just wanted to get well again.

She added: “We were in and out of the Erne hospital two or three times and it was great to be able to do that.

“The staff were lovely and friendly and we all just spent a lot of time chatting away.

“The twins were absolutely thrilled to bits to get to see their mum on Christmas Day, as was Shirley at getting to see the children.”

Completing the family affair, Shirley’s partner James Cassidy joined her on the wards after breaking his leg due to slipping on ice.

After keeping a vigil at her bedside after she was put on life support in London, unlucky James had to join his wife in hospital once again over the Christmas period following his accident.

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