When Lily, a fun-loving eight-year-old girl from Cork, found a lump on her shoulder, her GP immediately sent her to the local hospital for a CT Scan. The results revealed a low-grade sarcoma, which is a cancerous tumour that originates in the bone and soft tissue. It was a very frightening and emotional time for Lily and her family.
Lily was referred to the National Orthopaedic Hospital Cappagh for treatment. The Hospital is home to the National Sarcoma Centre and has the greatest concentration of orthopaedic expertise in Ireland. Our Consultants specialise in the treatment of bone and soft tissue tumours.
We knew this family needed a lot of care and support. They were miles from home and coping with a shock diagnosis. As for Lily, at 8 years can struggle to understand the conversation, especially when medical terms are used, but she could sense the fear.
Our multi-disciplinary team of Paediatric Orthopaedic Consultants, nurses, and allied health and social care workers rallied around the family to help them through this difficult time. We explained the surgery in simple terms and offered emotional and practical support to Lily, and her mum and dad.
“The staff at Cappagh took us through each step of what was required for surgery – this was of great comfort to us as we knew she was in good hands“. Rita, Lily’s Mum
We are delighted to report that the tumour and tissue margins were successfully removed in surgery. And following treatment, Lily returned to school and her fun-filled life six weeks later.
“Everything, from the moment we went to Cappagh was taken care of. They were our support system throughout that time and we cannot thank them enough” JOHN, LILY’S DAD
Former professional footballer and current assistant coach of Shamrock Rovers, Glenn Cronin, is no stranger to the National Orthopaedic Hospital Cappagh. He received regular treatment for sports-related injuries throughout a long and successful career. When he retired, he thought he’d seen the last of the Hospital.
“I had a lot of injuries. The treatment in Cappagh was always top-class. The people were always really professional and reassuring.”
However, in 2016, while holidaying with his family in Spain, Glenn’s 9-year-old daughter Aoife announced that she had an extra bone in her arm. On checking it, Glenn and his wife Emma discovered a lump and fear began to grip them.
Returning to Ireland, they wasted no time. Aoife came to the hospital for an x-ray, MRI and biopsy, and a week later, Mr Gary O’Toole, Orthopaedic Surgeon, removed her “extra bone”. Following laboratory analysis, the families worst fears were confirmed. The resected tumour was cancerous.
When a cancerous diagnosis is confirmed, fear envelopes the family and the patient, parents, and siblings react in their unique way. We understand the many emotions that surface in the wake of a shocking diagnosis. The Hospital’s medical excellence is complemented by genuine and empathic care and our multi-disciplinary team unite to offer support and care for each family member.
We helped Aoife, Glenn, Emma and her brother through this challenging time.
Since the surgery, we are delighted to report that Aoife has made a remarkable recovery and continues to go from strength to strength.
When Sara Kelly consulted her GP in 2011 for a chest infection, she was surprised to learn that she was living with scoliosis, a condition that causes curvature of the spine in adolescents.
Sara was referred to Crumlin Hospital for regular check-ups to monitor the disease progression, and shortly after that, when the condition began to impact her life negatively, Sara elected for surgery. Three years on, the former under-14 Meath camogie player remained on the surgical waiting list.
In 2015, Sara was one of 5 patients transferred to the waiting list at National Orthopaedic Hospital Cappagh, and within five months she underwent spinal correction surgery. Two rods and 14 screws were inserted into Sara’s back to correct the curvature. The Hospital has an incredible Paediatric Orthopaedic Department committed to improving access to treatment and delivering better outcomes for young patients. Sara’s surgery was a great success.
“I gained 3 to 4 inches in height during my scoliosis surgery, and I’m no longer in pain. The recovery was tough but manageable, and I was home from the hospital after six days. I am living pain-free. Surgery has changed my life.”