By Louise Walsh
A desperate mum who has to sit on her son each day to insert a feeding tube into his nose is appealing for help to be able to afford private medical treatment.
Five-year-old Bryan Buckley from Drogheda, Co. Louth has been wearing the feeding tube since last September but he pulls it out daily in a frustrated panic because it's irritating the lining of his nose.
His distraught mum Grainne Cullough literally has to sit on him each day to reinsert the tube, which is causing daily heartbreak to both.
She has been trying to get a feeding tube into his stomach but was told by medics that she won't get an assessment for Bryan for this - until next February at the earliest.
The little fighter has had the nasogastric (NG) tube in his nose after 10 days in intensive care in hospital due to septic shock.
He needed dialysis, blood transfusions and platelets in the aftermath and remained in care a further eleven weeks after being taken out of intensive care.
He is now unable to walk or eat or drink and his mum says she cannot eat in front of her son as he remembers what it's like to taste his favourite foods, according to Grainne.
"It's like a dark cloud. He's totally dependent on me now because he can't eat or drink or walk.
"The physiotherapists have done amazing work since last September but we don't know if he will ever revert to full health again," she said.
"He is getting stronger but now pulls the tube out every day because it's irritating him, which I can understand.
"I have to sit on him - imagine sitting on your little son - and ignore his screams to get the tube back down his nose and as far as his belly.
"But I have to do it so he'll get the nutrition he needs."
She says she has been told by medics that the earliest her son can be seen is next February.
"I can't go on like this and neither can Bryan. I'm told it will be February before he's even seen for assessment.
Grainne is appealing for help through a GoFundme page to get private treatment for Bryan and get the tube into his stomach as soon as possible.