Life as a carer: ‘Crumlin hospital don’t ring you on Saturday morning for no good reason’

With her daughter seriously ill, Ciara Reid left work. The family now face mounting financial costs

Réiltín Reid (4) with her sister Dearbhla Reid (7). Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Réiltín Reid (4) with her sister Dearbhla Reid (7). Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Ciara and Pat Reid are parents to Dearbhla, who is seven, and Rèiltín, who is four. Rèiltín has Down’s syndrome and is profoundly deaf. She was also diagnosed with cancer at just two years of age.

“We found out before I was 12 weeks pregnant that Rèiltín was going to have Down’s syndrome,” Ciara explains. The couple also discovered at later scans that their daughter would have a congenital heart defect, and a stomach and bowel issue that would require immediate surgery.

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