Super Star Sam, Children’s Health Foundation

February 22, 2023

As you may know, the official charity partner of the 2023 Swim For a Mile Challenge is the Children’s Health Foundation. It is such a pleasure to support the amazing work that they do and we wanted to remind you why we do it!

So far the 2023 challenge has raised just over €8,000 for the Children’s Health Foundation (CHF). Can you help us raise more funds? Book your SFAM challenge event here, and opt to create your own fundraising page, instantly add a donation to your booking on check out or simply share the donation page to spread awareness!

Right now, in Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) hospitals and urgent care centres, sick children and their worried families are arriving in need of critical world-class care.

Across Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght, children and young people are receiving treatment at their bedside, others are being wheeled into theatre for life-saving operations or being cared for around the clock in Intensive Care. Meanwhile, in the comforting surrounding of CHI at Connolly, children are receiving the best possible treatments for fevers, broken bones, injuries or illnesses.

Every time a child comes through the door of a hospital or urgent care centre, a new story begins… Read on for Sam’s story.

Super Star Sam

During the pregnancy with Sam and a routine scan at 15 weeks, it was noted that there was a huge issue with Sam’s bladder, which had resulted in catastrophic damage to his kidneys. He wasn’t expected to live and so the doctors were all taken by surprise when he was born at full term, crying (and peeing)! He was rushed to CHI, Crumlin where the journey began…

After a tough few initial months with multiple surgeries, Sam had deteriorated and needed to start dialysis, designed to be performed at home. This is called peritoneal dialysis, his parents connected him to a machine every evening to do the job of his kidneys. He had one night off the machine a week, but their home resembled a small hospital at times.

Staff from CHI, Crumlin came out to support the family in bringing Sam home and completing his treatment. After 3 years and a bad infection, this type of therapy wasn’t effective any more and Sam’s care was moved to CHI, Temple Street to start undergoing haemodialysis. For just under 2 years, he travelled in to Temple Street three days a week for his treatment.

Sam got the life saving and life changing gift of life from his dad; a kidney in June 2019 at 5 1/2 years old. Sam’s life has transformed from literally hundreds of visits to Temple Street a year to just 10 visits for bloods and other follow up appointments in 2022.

CHI Temple Street and Crumlin ended up being homes from home for the first 6 years of Sam’s life, the work they do is incredible. In particular, his parents remember the nursing staff, the teachers from the hospital school and the play therapists, who they became close to in the many hours Sam spent on dialysis.

They felt they were so well looked after by the doctors, surgeons and anaesthetists, not to mention the porters, receptionists, switch staff, phlebotomists and all the other staff you come across in a journey like theirs.

On the day of Sam’s transplant, the staff lined the corridor of the ward in a guard of honour and love, escorting him to his transplant. Since then he has gone on to thrive, even enjoying a holiday in NYC last year!

The work of CHF is absolutely vital, many of the initiatives and medical equipment that Sam and his family benefited from are funded by CHF. Not to mention, the critical research that CHF funds to help shape healthcare for the future of children like Sam.

The Swim For a Mile Challenge are so proud to support such a worthy charity and it’s stories like Sam that reminds us just how important the CHF is in helping sick children across Ireland.

Sam’s story may have provoked an interest in learning more about organ donation click here to learn more about organ donation!

logo logo logo