Me, Mum and Dennis
This was an extremely worrying time for Mum with the baby due in a months time and Dad being so ill but she put on a brave face, she wouldn't let it get her down.
She was having the baby at home and the weekend it was due, Dad was allowed home but Mr Logue , his surgeon insisted that if the baby was not born by Sunday he would have to go back to the hospital as his operation wouldn't wait any longer, he was living on borrowed time , his life was in danger.
With the help of hot baths and castor oil my baby brother was born on 27th november 1948 at 09.30pm. It was a breach birth and the baby had 10 convulsions one after the other, the Doctor said he wouldn't live until morning.
The vicar came to the house to christen him, we called him Dennis James it was a terrible time, not good for Dad facing a life and death operation on Monday knowing he may lose his son and his own life. He had to leave immediately after the birth to prepare for his op.
Dads sister had come to stay with us for the night to give us a little moral support. During the night she gave Dennis drops of brandy all through the night, and by morning he appeared to be much better, at least he was still with us. She said she couldn't lay there without trying something. When the Doctor came he was amazed that Dennis was still with us. Although he found further things wrong for instance his arms appeared to be paralysed, but he was alive.
Dad was now our main concern. Dennis continued to thrive although his arms were still not working.
My Aunt went home, as she had three children to care for. Dad came through the operation. Back in those days, after childbirth the mother had to stay in bed for 14 days, so Mum was not able to visit the hospital. I said I would go, I was only nine years old, but felt capable. Mum was really concerned, but there didn't seem to be any other option. I made it to the hospital but was very scared about seeing Dad and I didn't know if they would let me see him as you were supposed to be 14yrs old to visit.
I found a nurse and told her the situation and she had to ask the matron. They were reluctant to let me see him, but did in the end. Dad was in a private room and all I could see was his head swathed in bandages and his face resembled a big red football, there were tubes and a wire going into his ankle. He managed to mumble something to me but I could not understand. I stayed for some time until the nurse came and said I should leave as it was only upsetting me. I went home and told Mum about it and she said she shouldn't have let me go, but I was glad as I loved my Dad so much.
I was unable to go to school as I was the only person to help my mother, I bathed Dennis, prepared and cooked dinner for Mum and I and also did the housework all under Mums direction. The midwife who came in each morning was amazed at what I was doing. Mum was so proud of me.