The first quadruplets ever born in Cork celebrated their 18th birthday with a visit to the medical team who delivered them.
Kellie, Katie, Shauna, and Amy Murphy met with some of the original team of 45 expert staff, led by Professor John R Higgins, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, at Cork UniversityMaternity Hospital.
The quadruplets were born by caesarean section,13 weeks premature, in the Erinville Hospital on January 22, 2002. Maternity services in the Erinville transferred to CUMH, along with the St Finbarr’s Maternity Hospital and Bon Secours Maternity Hospital, in 2007.
Prof Higgins said: “It’s fantastic to see them so full of life and articulate. They are all completely different with lots of their own ambitions.
“I haven’t seen them in 18 years. I remember every bit of that day. They were just over 13 weeks early when their mum went into labour. We had just 45 minutes to get all the staff in and the equipment ready.
It required the whole hospital working together to have them delivered safely. You want every delivery to turn out as they have — they’re perfect.
The Murphys were the first set of quadruplets born in Cork, but Prof Higgins had delivered two sets while working in Australia, which gave some comfort to parents Patrick and Brenda.
Brenda said: “It’s great to remember all the faces and to meet Prof Higgins again.
“At 9.30am that morning I had pains and by 11am Kellie was born. Then Katie, Shauna, and Amy came quickly. They were tiny. Katie was just 1lb14oz.
“The hospital saved them. They were taken to the neo-natal unit and hooked up to machines. We took Kellie home after eight weeks, and Katie was the last home at 10 weeks.
“Now they’re starting a new dimension of life. Shauna’s driving and they’re doing their Leaving Cert.
“We want to say thank you to the hospital. It has been fantastic to come up after all these years and see the staff and Prof Higgins.”
The girls were celebrating their milestone birthday with family after their trip to CUMH but have to defer a bigger party with friends until after their pre-Leaving Certificate exams which start next week.
Budding cyber security specialist Shauna said that their bond has grown stronger over the years — while the fights they had as children over toys have changed to rows over clothes.
Amy said: “People single us out as being special because we’re quads, but it’s just normal to us.”
Despite wanting to pursue very different career paths — hoping to study arts, teach in a secondary school, groom dogs, and work in cybersecurity — all four of them said they’re happy to remain in Cork for their studies — before travel lures them away after graduation.
Katie said: “If it’s not broke don’t fix it.”