Two tiny tots deemed lit­tle wa­ter he­roes

LIT­TLE SWIM­MERS TED (1) AND DY­LAN (FIVE MONTHS) RE­CEIVE AWARDS

Bray People - - NEWS -

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.

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