A mother who didn't think her son would reach his 10th birthday after he contracted a rare virus which destroyed his lungs is appealing to the public to send him cards ahead of the major milestone on June 24th.
Daniel O'Sullivan, from Hollyhill on the northside of Cork city, contracted Adenovirus 14 as an infant and is awaiting a double lung transplant. AD 14 can cause severe respiratory infection, which can sometimes be fatal, even in healthy young adults. It is a virulent form of the cold virus.
Daniel developed the rare form of the virus when he was a few days old and had to travel to Sweden for specialist care.
In an interview on the C103FM's Cork Today show his mother Deirdre said that there is much excitement surrounding the upcoming birthday as Daniel has been through countless battles in his short life.
She said Daniel was seven days old when he woke with a temperature.
"I brought him to my GP. He didn't like the sound of his breathing so they sent him to a local hospital. They did an X Ray and spotted something on his lung. They kept him in for observation and within a week he was being ventilated. There was nothing more they could do.
"A doctor mentioned this thing called ECMO. A team from Sweden flew to Cork. They hooked Daniel up to this machine and flew him to Sweden where he spent 53 days on this machine.
"He was only sixteen days old when he flew to Sweden.
Daniel had contracted a very rare virus called AD 14. It is like a common cold but the strain is very rare. He didn't have the immune system to fight off the virus so it destroyed his lungs.
After nearly two months in Sweden Daniel was transferred back to Temple Street in Dublin where he was hospitalised for eight weeks. He then spent a further seven and a half months in hospital in Cork before he was able to return home.
Daniel had surgery earlier this year to remove a small section of his lung which is being tested at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. He is due to go on a double transplant list.
Deirdre said doctors were very pleased with Daniel's progress until March when his lungs collapsed. Daniel is on oxygen around the clock. However, he attends school and has a full time special needs assistant.
"She is amazing with him. He can actually carry the oxygen tank himself ! It is heavy but he puts it on his back. He doesn't let the illness get the better of him. He knows no different. He has been on oxygen since he was seven days old.
He is funny. Happy all the time. Always smiling whether he is sick or not. He has a great sense of humour for a child who is so sick.
Covid 19 has been a big concern for the family and Daniel is continuing to cocoon at home. Deirdre says her son is a battler.
"He has had many battles. We had a big birthday booked but we had to cancel it (because of Covid). With Covid I decided to come up with a card appeal. He loves cards. I just want to put an extra smile on his face. He has received 85 cards in three days already. We try to do something big or special for Daniel every year."
Cards can be sent to Daniel at 22 Meadow Green, The Meadows, Hollyhill, Cork.