Dad to beat pain barrier to thank hospital staff

A grateful father, who was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and viral meningitis, has vowed to push himself to the limit today and complete the Dublin marathon to pay back the hospital staff who saved his twin babies’ lives.

Des and Susanne Lynch are convinced their one-year-old twins, Matthew and Noah, would not have survived their premature birth but for the professionalism of the medical staff at Dublin’s Coombe hospital.

The boys, who turned one earlier this month, were born premature at 27 weeks, both weighing under 1.3kg.

The couple, who also have a two-year-old daughter, Sadie, faced a further anxious eight-week period before their sons - who had breathing difficulties when born - were eventually discharged from hospital.

To make matters worse, Carlow-born Des, 34, started experiencing pain in his hands, feet, and knees, and was eventually diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. In June this year, he faced a further setback when he was hospitalised and diagnosed with viral meningitis.

However, he said he is determined to battle through the pain barrier and complete his first full marathon to thank the staff who cared for his twin sons and raise funds for the Friends of Coombe charity.

Susanne, 34, from Knocklyon in south Dublin, said: “Thankfully, the twin boys are doing really well now, but I don’t think they’d be here today if it wasn’t for the wonderful care they received at the Coombe.

“We’ve had a very tough time and Des took up running as a way of dealing with the fear and lack of control regarding our sons. But I thought he was mad to sign up for the marathon, which will be phenomenally difficult for him.

I’ve every confidence he’ll finish the race.”

A record 15,216 runners have signed up to take part in today’s SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon, which is being held for the 36th time. Of those taking part, 10,800 are Irish, while the remaining 4,416 are made up of 62 other nationalities.

The race gets underway at Fitzwilliam Street Upper at 8.55am for the wheelchair-users, and 9am for the main field — and 26.2 miles later the runners will eventually see the welcome sight of the finish line in Merrion Square North.


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