NOT ONLY have a Limerick couple inspired countless others with their courageous story, they have now presented a cheque for over €6,000 to good causes.
Last November, Ger and Noreen Thompson, Murroe, told the Limerick Leader about their unimaginable 10 years.
In that time they had seven miscarriages and a baby who died shortly after being born. During the ninth pregnancy a happy and healthy baby girl was born.
Ellianna Hope Marie Thompson will be two in May and appropriately Ellianna means ‘God has answered me’.
After the apple of their eye was born the couple vowed to raise money for the neonatal unit in the University Maternity Hospital.
Despite not being able to run a km in January 2013 Ger decided to run the Dublin marathon. He and Noreen also organised a fundraising night in the Kilmurry Lodge.
Popular Ger collected around €5,000 in sponsorship and with another €1,000 from the charity event they handed over a cheque this week for €6,186.
The money will be divided between the neonatal unit and Irish Premature Babies.
Noreen and Ger returned to the maternity hospital this week for the presentation. Noreen said she couldn’t speak highly enough of the staff.
“They have looked after me for the last 12 years. I don’t know how they do the job, not just the staff in the neonatal but in the maternity. I was there for four months before I had Ellianna and the pressure they were under... because they are so short staffed.
“There might be one fully qualified nurse on the ward and two being trained in. It was awful the way they were being treated by some of the patients. They were blaming the nurses for all the cuts. The staff were getting the brunt of it because there isn’t enough staff to be doing all the work,” said Noreen.
The proud mum said they were like her second family and they wanted to give something back to say thanks.
“I saw that side of it and a lot of the nurses became my friends. When I got to 24 weeks with Ellianna that was my goal because that is the safe point. At that stage they can do something if I go into labour. All the doctors and nurses came down with cup cakes and candles in them. It was a big celebration in my room. They went out of their way for me the whole time,” said Noreen.
They were hoping to raise around €1,000 and ended up with over €6,000. But the amount of hoped they have raised for other parents is priceless.
“I got one letter for from a woman who had one miscarriage. Herself and her husband gave up hope completely. She wrote that we were after giving them hope and they are going to try again. That one letter made my day knowing that it was after giving one couple hope,” said Noreen.