The Gallacher Family Story

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It’s a boy…

Brian and Shirley were overjoyed at the birth of their first child – a son, in September 1996. Brian reminisced “Our fairy tale had started, we had a smashin’ wee baby who we instantly loved. All was well…. for a short time”.

Fairly soon after he was born Ryan became very ill. Brian and Shirley only realised just how bad he when they got him to the hospital in Yorkhill. The couple were advised that Ryan had a serious heart defect. The medical team were going to have to work hard to get his strength up in order to perform major surgery.

Shirley told us “As the day moved on into the night we were continually updated, and each update was worse, with eventually the consultant telling us to prepare for the worst as Ryan was not responding and continued to deteriorate”.

Ryan turns a corner

Thankfully late into the evening they were told there was a glimmer of hope, Ryan had started to react to the medication. If this continued through the night, they would have a team in to perform the surgery.

Where will we stay tonight?

A staff nurse kindly looked into the possibility of Brian and Shirley staying at Ronald McDonald House Glasgow. The House was right next door to the hospital. Sensitively explaining that the couple could be close to Ryan, should he not make it.

Brian recalls their thoughts at the time “We lived in Glasgow and felt a stay at the house was unmerited for someone living so close to the hospital. However, we appreciated the gesture and recognised that we would barely get any notice to return to the hospital, should things go wrong. So we grabbed the chance to be near our desperately sick child”.

Shirley explained “It was great to have a phone in the room that connected directly to the ward. It was also a great comfort to know Ryan was in great hands and that we were minutes from his bedside. The staff in the House were an immense support to us. The other families in the House also helped us keep our strength and hopes up”.

Ryan goes for surgery

Ryan underwent surgery and moved into the Intensive Care Unit. For a short period of time the couple stayed at the House whilst he recuperated. Ryan thankfully fully recovered and he too will celebrate his 25th year in September 2021!! Happy Birthday Ryan, from all of us here at the House for later in the year.

A message from Brain & Shirley

“We will be forever grateful to the team at Yorkhill and to Ronald McDonald House Glasgow and the staff there for being there for us at our most desperate time of our lives.

We have watched our wee boy grow in the man he is now. Whilst he clearly doesn’t remember the trauma, he too recognises the debt of gratitude he owes to the team. He listens intently to our stories of those days and weeks, which to this day still brings us to tears.

We would like to wish the Charity a happy 25th Anniversary and wish them well for the years to come. Carrying on with the magnificent support of parents who find themselves in the same dreadful position, we were in all those years ago”.

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