Kildare mum hails Gardai after hospital dash

Baby son in convulsions from bacterial infection

Conor McHugh


Conor McHugh


Kildare Mum hails Gardai after hospital dash

Now recovered, little Joshua and Orlane (centre) meet Garda June Lyons and Ronan Mannion to present them with a bouquet of flowers and chocolates.

A  Kildare mum has paid tribute to two hero Gardai after they gave her and her sick baby a high speed escort to Portlaoise Hospital.

Late on March 24 last Newbridge woman Orlane Powell’s baby son Joshua was desperately ill with a high temperature and had been referred by Kdoc to Portlaoise Hospital.

Driving out of Naas, Orlane was stopped at a Garda checkpoint at Sheehy’s Garage on the outskirts of the town.

But rather than conducting the routine check of tax and insurance, Garda Ronan Mannion quickly realised the severity of the situation when he saw little Joshua shaking from head to toe in a febrile convulsion.

As she approached the checkpoint, she rolled down her window and called Garda Mannion over.

“Are you ok,” he asked her. “Is everything alright?”

She burst into tears and he offered to give her a Garda escort to the hospital.

“He offered to get drive the car, but I said no, because I wanted to be beside Joshua who was in the front passenger seat.

“They cleared the traffic the whole way for me. We were doing 140kph or 150kph all the way. And then they pulled up beside me in the hospital.

"Garda Mannion carried all my son’s bags and bits and pieces. And he opened all the doors for me and then called the doctors for me, and he was seen immediately.

“I was really upset and desperate,” she told the Leinster Leader.

She described the action by the two Gardai as “above and beyond the call of duty”, adding that she was “truly grateful to them”.

“I don’t think they get enough appreciation,” she said. “They’re there for the community, not just when there’s an emergency and this has brought that home to me.”

It took two days and a strong antibiotic to get brave Joshua's temperature back to normal

It took two days to get Joshua’s temperature under control using a strong antibiotic, Orlane said.

Orlane believes that he caught a bacterial infection from an older child he'd come in contact with that day. Within a matter of hours of the contact, Joshua’s temperature was out of control.

“The doctor said it was the fourth child he’d seen that night. He was at his wits end.

“Doctors have urged parents to exercise caution if their child has a bacterial or viral infection. Although older children may not appear to be too ill, they can be life threatening for babies and small children,” she said.

“Meningitis is a viral or bacterial infection that travels to the meninges in the brain, so although an older child can appear slightly unwell, it can be potentially life threatening for a baby.”