No pictures tonight.
It’s really cool that this ferry has got internet while on sea, but while internet@sea is good for text-based stuff, it ain’t for pictures or anything that moves.
Almost to the day, 30 years ago, my extended German family boarded the St. Patrick ferry from Le Havre to Rosslare to visit Ireland for the first time, and to be at our wedding. Most of the people on that journey are no longer with us. My father, mother, sister, brother-in-law, grant aunt, aunt, uncle, my best friend – all gone. There are no ferries any longer from Le Havre to Ireland, you have to go to Cherbourg, are out in Normandie. The St. Patrick, of course, has long been decommissioned.
Just under two years ago, on 11 November 2013, a physio got up in the middle of the night in Dublin to go to work in Beaumont Hospital at 5am, to get Pádraig (and his lungs;) ready for the flight to Germany. Staff on the ward had really made a huge effort to prepare everything they could for that big journey. We were going to go for a few months to Germany to get him the early neuro rehab he would have had to wait for in Dublin for a year.
Yesterday, we just packed a few bags. Put everything into the car. Drove. Stayed overnight in the most basic sub-hostel level Formula ! hotel (should be re-named ‘Formula 0’ – it’s so basic). Drove another few hours. Onto the ferry. Tomorrow morning when we’ll wake up we’ll be in Rosslare.
Pádraig is coming home.
We were away longer than we had ever imagined. Pádraig is physically ok. His level of awareness has increased. Most of the day, he is with us. He can move, intentionally, parts of his body, slow and not always. He has started to communicate using his tongue, his hands, his feet to ‘say’ “yes” or “no”.
A bit more than two years ago, doctors suggested organ donation. A bit less than two years ago, doctors were going to leave him in hospital for the foreseeable future. A bit more than half a year ago, doctors believed they could not help him anymore. They had destroyed his urinary tract, they were going to make his tracheostomy permanent, they foresaw processed PEG food to be his staple food.
Pádraig defied them all. Everyone single one of them. Pppphhhh! What do they know? In what do they believe? I bet you, they never tried to build a Dreamboat!?
We’ll have breakfast tomorrow morning in Rosslare. There’ll be a few friends who said they’ll be there to welcome him.
It’s been a long way from the ICU to him being walked across a room. To him pressing the button in his right hand for ‘yes’, in his left hand for ‘no’.
We’ll sort out a home care package with the HSE, show them, demonstrate to them how he is so much better off living at home than staying in a nursing home, how he has and will continue to improve with the right support, care and therapy.
Pádraig will get to their hearts and minds, he will change the way they look at severe acquired brain injury patients, and he will make it possible for other young people to live at home if they so wish.
An Saol. An Saol Nua.
(If Internet@Sea is possible, anything is! Right? 🙂