“He’s our little heart warrior”, those are the words of Stacey Bradley, mother to six-month-old Dylan who was born with a Congenital Heart Defect and awaiting further heart surgery.
Like many other parents, Stacey and her husband Damian had to take matters into their own hands just shy of three weeks ago, when they decided to go into isolation with baby Dylan and his big sister Katie Jane who also has underlying health issues.
Stacey who works as a Deputy Sister on Ward 6 at SWAH told the Herald, “We weren’t forced into the decision, but it was something that my husband and I wanted to do ourselves before guidelines or lockdowns were issued.
As parents we had a responsibility to both our children who we love so much.”
Speaking about her decision to take such measures, the Lisnaskea woman explained, “We had been over in Birmingham with Dylan to get his cardiac catheter in, however the doctors were happy with his progress and wanted to wait another month or two to let him grow.
“We were so happy that he didn’t need the procedure but the mood soon shifted when we landed back to Belfast. Suspicions of the outbreak were rife and we weren’t going to take any chances so we decided as soon as we got home from the airport to self-isolate and that was nearly three weeks ago, we haven’t been in contact with anyone since.
“We have been keeping calm, although Mother’s Day was a double whammy because I was happy to spend it with my two beautiful kids, but felt sad that I couldn’t see my own mother. It broke my heart, but this crisis we are facing is not just about the protection of our kids, but our parents also.”
To prohibit anyone from entering the family home the couple created their own sign, Stacey said, “Everyone has been so respectful. It’s great to know that we have such amazing family and friends out there who understand our decision to do this and never challenged us.
“For children with heart conditions it’s just the norm to avoid any mass gatherings regardless of the coronavirus.
“With two children that have underlying health conditions, we need a lot of extra support so not having that now due to social isolation is hard at times.”
Despite this, the Bradleys are remaining positive and facing life’s challenges the only way they know how to – as a family.
“All you can do is protect your family as best you can, we’ve got our wee man and he’s as fit and healthy as he can be so we count ourselves blessed everyday,” she explained.
Although Stacey admits, “I have never seen anything like Covid-19 before. We must take this serious in order to protect everybody, especially the vulnerable. When you stay at home you’re making a difference.
It’s a disgrace people not listening to health guidelines, when even a common cold could cause problems for my baby, never mind a virus with no vaccine. I urge everyone to stay at home, shop local, protect the vulnerable and saves lives.”
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