Two tiny tots deemed little water heroes
LITTLE SWIMMERS TED (1) AND DYLAN (FIVE MONTHS) RECEIVE AWARDS
TWO County Wicklow tots have been named as ‘Little Heroes’ by baby and toddler swim school Water Babies.
Both Ted Jameson from Rathnew and Dylan Mulligan from Kilpeddar are among the eleven award-winners, who the group have described as ‘Ireland’s most inspiring young swimmers’. All eleven children have battled illness and adversity during their short lives but have also seen themselves develop or their lives improve after they started swimming.
One-year-old Ted Jameson arrived in the world seven weeks early and suffering with respiratory distress syndrome.
He spent the first few weeks of his life in ICU on oxygen to help his lungs open and close. After doing some research, his mother discovered that swimming can help premature babies and so she brought him along to a Water Babies class in Rathfarnham in Dublin.
Now, while he can’t yet crawl or walk, he happily swims at Water Babies.
While swimming in itself is a good thing, Ted’s family noticed that the experience was bringing other benefits for the little boy.
When he started his first class on Friday, February 13, Ted was two months old – although he was only two weeks beyond his due date of January 28.
He was tiny and slept the whole way through the classes. Premature babies can often suffer from over-stimulation, but the warm water seemed to calm Ted completely.
The little mite also suffered from chronic colic and cried constantly from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. for weeks until a protein allergy was diagnosed. Again, the water seemed the only thing that helped him to relax and stop crying.
When Ted got sick and missed a few weeks’ classes, he regressed. He then developed a terrible fear of underwater swimming but his family, with the support of the teacher, decided to repeat the first term and he hasn’t looked back since.
The family went to Greece last September for their holi- days and Ted swam five or six times a day in the pool and he even swam in the sea. His family say that swimming has had a huge impact on his development and that he is happiest in the water, which ‘calms him down and raises his spirits’.
Dylan Mulligan (five months old) from Kilpeddar got a fright in the bath when he was two months old and was terrified of the water. He would scream every time his mum Lynda tried to bath him.
Although she was worried about how he would react, Lynda decided to bring him swimming when he was three months old.
Dylan cried almost the whole way through his first Water Babies lesson. However, as the weeks went by he cried less and less and by the end of his first term, he loved it.
He’s also coping much better at bath time now too.
When Lynda was bathing him recently, Dylan started to create a fuss, so she said: ‘Dylan, hold on’. Despite his young age, he straight away grabbed the edge of the bath, very much impressing his mother.
While Water Babies has decided that Dylan is one of their eleven ‘Little Heroes’, his mum Lynda says he was her little hero from the start.
Mary Synnott and Brenda Duff at the tea day in Newtownmountkennedy Community Centre.
Una Fenelon, Doireann O’Sullivan, Orla Fenelon, Faye Byrne, Olivia Byrne and Ciara O’Sullivan with Aoibh and Caoilinn O’Sullivan.
Marie O’Connor pours the tea for Barbara Markey, Julie Byrne, Bernie McDaid, Mary Kearns and Linda Walshe at the Alzheimers Tea Day in Newtownmountkennedy Community Centre last Thursday.
Ted Jameson from Rathnew with his award.
Dylan Mulligan from Kilpeddar with his award.