very generous | 

Irish mum who gave birth to twins at 24 weeks after catching Covid-19 thanks public

Tori O’Rourke (25 said she went through a “terrifying and traumatic experience”
Tori O’Rourke and partner Phil Hillier with babies Emily and Jacob

Tori O’Rourke and partner Phil Hillier with babies Emily and Jacob

Ciara O'Loughlin

An Irish mother who had to have an emergency caesarean section when her twins were just 24 weeks due to contracting Covid-19 said she is blown away by people's generosity.

Tori O’Rourke (25) from Kinvara in Co Galway, said she went through a “terrifying and traumatic experience” as she had to deliver her first-born children unexpectedly while on holiday in Malaga, Spain.

Ms O’Rourke was in critical condition and she had to live in Malaga for two and a half months after the babies were born as they were in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) due to being so premature.

A couple of weeks ago babies Emily and Jacob were flown home by air ambulance to the NICU in Galway University Hospital.

Due to the high cost of having to stay in Malaga and now the price of having to drive an hour in and out of the hospital every day, Ms O’Rourke and her partner have set up an online fundraiser on GoFundMe.

The mother-of-two spoke to the Irish Independent last week about her traumatic experience and later spoke about it on national radio.

She said she saw a boost in donations after going public with her story, and they have now raised €18,349 of their €20,000 goal.

"It was quite scary to speak to the newspaper or go on the radio as it brought up a lot of old emotions, so it was kind of difficult,” Ms O’Rourke told Independent.ie.

"But people have been so generous and we are so close to our goal now so thank you to everyone that has donated, there have been complete strangers and they have been so generous, we really really appreciate it, we don’t know what we would do without it.

"I would also love to thank all the staff in the NICU in Galway University Hospital and all of the staff that have helped the twins along the way.”

The Galway native received some exciting news yesterday as she was able to take Emily home from the hospital.

The next part of the journey will now see Ms O’Rourke look after the three-month-old baby girl at home as she continues to visit Jacob every day in the hospital.

The little boy has unfortunately been sicker than his sister and has undergone two heart surgeries and one surgery on both of his eyes.

He is currently in Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin recovering after the eye surgery which took place a couple of days ago.

At some stage today he will be brought by ambulance back to the NICU in Galway University Hospital.

“The doctors are really happy with how it went and they’re optimistic for his eyesight in the future,” Ms O’Rourke explained.

"Obviously, there are no guarantees but they’re being as optimistic as possible and they’re happy with how it went.

"They’re saying he’s quite good afterward so we’re happy with that.”

If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe please click here.


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