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Born on a Friday and diagnosed with Apert Syndrome, hospital doctors told little Daire Flanagan’s family he wouldn’t live to see the end of his first weekend.

Now six years old, Daire is flourishing, after an incredible year at the Mencap Nursery helped set him on his life’s journey.

On arrival at the Mencap Nursery, aged 2, Daire had spent so much time lying prone in a hospital bed that he hadn’t learned how to sit upright – but when he left, he walked out of the building with his mum, Colette.

He’s had much to overcome since then – his tally of medical surgeries now stands at over thirty – with a life saving head operation one of eight surgeries he had to undergo in 2015 alone.

Doctors said he would never talk,but Collette vividly recalls her flood of tears on the summer’s day when she told him she loved him and Daire replied ‘I love you too!”.

While at the Mencap Nursery, he also learned how to eat properly and overcome hypersensitivity issues, which meant he couldn’t touch things other children take for granted, like soil or sand.

Daire and Colette Flanagan 05

This would cause him to gag and cry until his hands were cleaned, but he soon overcame these issues, with help from Mencap staff.

Having spent so much time in intensive care units at hospital, Daire’s time at the Mencap Nursery allowed him to get used to having other children around and he’s now progressed to Fleming Fulton School in Belfast, where his education and development continues.

He now loves school so much that if he’s too ill to go into school mum Colette has to pretend the school is closed so he doesn’t feel like he’s missing out.

One of his favourite pastimes at Mencap Nursery, his mum remembers, was completing jigsaw puzzles and as you can see from the picture below, this hasn’t changed.

Colette insists Daire began his amazing journey at the Mencap Nursery and her family remain extremely grateful, supporting the organisation however they can.

To follow this amazing little rascal, visit his Facebook page, Daire’s Journey: https://www.facebook.com/dairesjourney

 

Daire and Colette Flanagan 13
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