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OUR GORE-TEX BABY; Docs use patch of raincoat fabric to secure little Ciaran's organs in place.


AS HE snuggles up to his mum and dad, cutie Ciaran McRobbie looks like any other happy 18-month old baby.

It is hard to believe the cheeky-grinned toddler was given only a five per cent chance of survival and has a patch of raincoat material holding his internal organs in place.

Ciaran was born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, which meant his bowel, liver and stomach had escaped up into his chest through a hole in his diaphragm.

The tot, who was not expected to live, endured a string of ops when doctors patched the hole with Gore-Tex - the same hardwearing fabric used in raincoats.

His delighted parents Claire Leishman and Steven McRobbie say little fighter Ciaran, who has defied the odds, is their "wee miracle."

Claire, 23, of Drumchapel, Glasgow, said: "I don't think there is a word that describes how we feel about Ciaran. He's our wee miracle, our little inspiration and we are prouder than proud of him.

"He's been through so much in his few short months, yet he is always happy. It is bizarre knowing there is a strip of fabric inside our son but it is keeping his organs in place and that is all that matters."

Steven, 30, who works for a sandwich company, added: "When doctors told us they were going to patch it with Gore-Tex we were a bit taken aback but after thinking about it, it seemed the most logical substance to use."

As Ciaran was so tiny, the first patch was sewn on externally and then later, when his skin grew, it was done internally.

At 11 weeks old, the little battler was let out of hospital for the first time.

Donors Claire said: "The heart and lung machine Ciaran was placed on needs platelets to work.

"He needed several doses of platelets and several whole blood transfusions for this life-saving treatment."

There are only 1550 platelet donors in Scotland and 470 more are needed.

The process takes up to 90 minutes as a machine extracts the platelets from the red blood cells. A donor can give every four to six weeks.


Lifesaver: The Gore-tex patch Fighter: Ciaran with Robbie and Claire
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 20, 2009
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