Parents of severely burned baby girl appeal for discontinued Boots soother
The family of a severely burned baby girl have launched an appeal to locate a special soother that has been discontinued for sale in stores.
Civil engineer Liam Soffe told RTE's Liveline that his six month daughter Elizabeth received burns to 60pc of her body last June while their family were living in Qatar.
"My wife just put her down for a nap and heard her crying on the baby monitor... When she went upstairs, there was smoke coming out of the door...the room was on fire, the cot was on fire, the baby was on fire..."
"She grabbed our son William - who was two at the time - and treated them with water as best she could and managed to call an ambulance," he said.
Since the tragic house fire, started from a badly wired air conditioning unit, the family have had to relocate to a specialist burns unit in Birmingham which also facilitates an intensive care unit which Elizabeth required.
After several months in ICU, Elizabeth - now 18 months old - initially "wouldn't take a soother" but eventually became attached to a large Boots brand soother with a cherry teeth (pictured below).
Father-of-four Liam told presenter Joe Duffy that himself and his wife Sinead are now anxious to get this specific brand that "seems to relieve the tightness of the skin grafts on her face".
"We've been to every Boots store we could find...people from all over the world have sent soothers... we have tried the manufacturer but they said we had to go through the supplier as they couldn't deal with customers directly."
"They told Sinead that they discontinued making the product in 2008 but we bought this in Birmingham last year. We bought a few of them but over time they have fallen into disrepair."
Fiona Fenelon of Tommee Tippee called to the show to suggest that it is only older, used soothers that could be so large.
"Basically the older the soother is, the bigger the teeth get on it. I will happily send you some of the 18 month soothers but the latex actually expands over time as it is used," she told the RTE radio show.
Baby Elizabeth, who has already undergone a number of operations, will need skin grafts and burn treatment for the rest of her life.
Father Liam has hailed the staff in the hospital in Birmingham for the care and treatment they have given his daughter.
He has also thanked his family and friends who have organised charity events to raise money for Elizabeth's ongoing care.