Limavady couple praise health centre staff who ‘saved our son’s life’

Charlie celebrating his second birthday last Sunday
Charlie celebrating his second birthday last Sunday

A Limavady woman and her husband have paid heartfelt thanks to staff at a local health centre they say, saved their son’s life.

Ursula O’Kane was distraught when her two-years-old son, Charlie, appeared as if he was choking on Monday. His temperature spiked and within minutes he had became unresponsive.

They saved my child’s life, without a doubt

Ursula O’Kane

Ursula, along with her sister Marieanne, rushed the toddler to Scroggy Road Health Centre, just minutes away.

“He was seen straight away by doctors and nurses and they worked on him for about 15 to 20 minutes. All I could do was pray,” Ursula recalled.

“About 15 minutes after we took him in, they called us in to see if he would react to us.

“When I went in to see him he was more or less motionless apart from opening his eyes a little.

“It was as if he was gone. It was so, so scary because we didn’t know what was happening.”

Ursula said doctors believe Charlie may have suffered a ‘febrile convulsion,’ a seizure which can occur when a young child has a fever.

“This was nothing I had seen before and the doctors are putting it down to a convulsion.

“He was so well that morning too, just his usual bubbly self.

“He’d had a ball at his birthday party the day before and there were no signs he was sick.

“He fell asleep in my arms that morning, but he would do that the odd time anyway.”

Charlie was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital and kept in for observation before being allowed home on Tuesday night.

Ursula and her husband, Kevin, haveexpressed their thanks to health centre staff.

“They saved my child’s life, without a doubt.

“This was in a league of its own. It was just touch and go,” said Ursula.

The couple hope by sharing what happened to Charlie will raise awareness about what can happen and how to deal with it.

“These convulsions can happen when a child has a fever and between the ages of six months and three years old.

“Everyone needs to know what the warning signs are and how to deal with a convulsion, that you need to put your child in the recovery position and get to the nearest emergency care or call 999 as a precaution,” said Ursula.

“Thankfully, everything worked out for us and everyone who dealt with Charlie did everything right.

“ I owe them my wain’s life.”

Ursula and Kevin also want to thank Ursula’s sister Marieanne, the Ambulance Service and all the staff in Altnagelvin Hospital who cared for Charlie.

Ursula and Kevin say they plan to take Charlie back to Scroggy Road Health Centre to thank staff for all they did for them.

The NHS states on their website that the fits are usually harmless and almost all children make a complete recovery afterwards.

“As a precaution, you may still need to take your child to the nearest hospital or dial 999 for an ambulance,” say the NHS.

For further information about febrile convulsions visit www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Febrile-convulsions/Pages/Introduction.aspx