Inspirational Stories Shared at the maternity & infant Awards 2013

Inspirational Stories Shared at the maternity & infant Awards 2013

11 November 2013

Inspirational Stories Shared at the maternity & infant Awards 2013

Inspirational stories of courage and bravery were heard at the maternity & infant Awards 2013 in association with Gaviscon Extra held today in Dublin.

The Awards celebrate inspiring individuals who have touched the lives of those around them, while also recognising the leading maternity products and services tested by real mums and dads.

Once again the awards, held at the Four Seasons Hotel were hosted by Sybil Mulcahy and Martin King from TV3 and the day was filled with drama, emotion and fun.

Each year truly heartfelt nominations are received in the People Award categories, and this year was no different.

Amongst the 13 inspiring winners was the recipient of the Child Hero Award, three-year-old Fionn O’Doherty, from Mallow in Co Cork. Nominated by his aunt, Michelle Keane, Fionn  was born a healthy baby but developed a terrifying, life threatening virus which saw him lose the use of his limbs and unable to speak. 

Medics were unsure if little Fionn would ever be able to walk or speak again which was incredibly difficult for his parents who had lost a daughter to a similar virus 13 years previously.

However, Fionn displayed enormous courage, refusing a walking aid he decided he was going to learn to walk again on his own. Now, he is a healthy, happy little boy who can walk and run unaided. He started pre-school in September and as such is a deserving recipient of the Child Hero of the Year.

The Miracle Baby Award went to Michael Cullen from Navan, Co Meath. When Michael’s mother Lorraine was 11 weeks pregnant she began to experience bleeding and was taken to hospital where she was given the devastating news that she had cervical cancer. The parents were left reeling when they were told Lorraine would have to undergo two surgical procedures to remove the cancer, which their baby may not survive. Happily, and against all the odds, Michael survived. However, 34 weeks into the pregnancy it was discovered during a routine check-up that the cancer had again returned and Lorraine had to undergo a hysterectomy. Michael was born at 34 weeks and was just 3kgs. If it was not for Michael Lorraines cancer could have gone undetected and claimed her life and that is why he is parent’s hero.

Other winners at today’s event included Father of the Year, Aidan Duggan from Grenagh, Co Cork. Tragically Aidan’s 37-year-old wife Marion was diagnosed with ovarian cancer while pregnant with their second child in 2010. Their baby son Conor had to be delivered at 34 weeks to allow Marion to commence treatment. As well as caring for his terminally ill wife, Aidan cared for their precious little premature baby son when he was discharged from hospital and his two-year-old daughter Aoife. Sadly, Marion lost her fight seven months later and since then Aidan has dedicated his life to raising his children.

This year’s Outstanding Achievement Award went to super mum Loretta Farrell who set up her own charity after she developed breast cancer in 1998. She ran a motorcycle run for 14 years and has raised almost one million euro during that time. Sadly Loretta’s cancer returned recently and is now in Stage Four, however, she has not let this stop her and her dream is to raise one million before she is unable to continue due to her illness. She is a fantastic mother and grandparent and clearly an inspirational human being.

This year products across 50 categories were rigorously tested by mums and dads to choose the cream of the crop.

 “Gaviscon is delighted to have partnered with this year’s maternity & infant Awards said Sinead Morrissey from Gaviscon. “Gaviscon supports women during their pregnancy providing a range of products for heartburn and indigestion and our involvement in this event further highlights this commitment.  We wish to congratulate all of today’s product and service winners.  Finally, we are very pleased to have been in the company of so many inspirational people, who showed immense bravery in sharing such personal and moving stories of love and loss.  We wish everyone here today our very best wishes for the future.”

Event Director Tracey Carney said:” The maternity & infant awards are Ireland’s premier event for honouring parents, children, products, services and related medical professionals throughout the country. They provide a unique opportunity for friends, colleagues and family members to recognise those who have helped and inspired them in their daily lives. Look around you, there are people who go the extra mile in all walks of life. Mothers, who against all odds stay positive and attentive, midwives whose dedication has saved both mother and baby, children who have shown strength and courage beyond their years - we want to hear your story and celebrate the Unsung Heroes of Ireland”.

Highlights from the 2013 maternity & infant awards will be aired on TV3 on for more information visit