Tralee Life Life In An Irish Town


Bravery in the Course of Duty

A very quiet day in our house. Lisa has gone to collect Ruby and Fred has gone along for the drive.  There was talk of collecting Jaden but I’m not sure of what was the outcome. It’s unusual to have such silence but the little girl across the road is having a party with a bouncy castle so the screaming will start soon. When Lisa and I saw the castle go up this morning we both feared the worst. Fred likes nothing better than bouncing up and down in one but his epilepsy likes nothing better than to hit when he’s bouncing. It must have something to do with the movement but he’ll always go down when in a bouncy castle. Which is the real reason why Fred has gone to Dingle, the last thing we both wanted was to be fighting with Fred about him having fun.

Just not fair on him.

It didn’t take any bouncing for him to collapse at school on Friday. Only eleven days since the last episode and we’re not even going to analyse or ask why. It has been very hot lately, maybe that was a factor just like before the school holidays, who knows?

Lisa rang me at home to get over to the school. Luckily Ruby was off her school for the morning and the two of us shot over. As we drove up we could see Fred on the school yard concrete, wrapped in a blanket, a cushion under his head and four women around him. He doesn’t want for care at Blennerville, that’s for certain.

We got him in the back of the car. The poor man’s face was covered in grazes and the brow of his nose was badly cut where the bridge of his glasses had jammed into him. Apparently he’d been talking to a group of girls and just as the bell went for end of break he went down. Talk about waiting for the right moment, just as all the school was gathering.

Ruby sat in the back with him and we drove home. Lisa was there before us and we walked him into the house. The usual routine of laying out the couch was done and Fred took up residence for the afternoon. He slept for a few hours, had another seizure but that was it. Around 8 o’clock he woke for some pizza, watched a movie and the two of us went up to bed about 10.30 pm.

On the last few clusters the epilepsy took a break before hitting again as he fell asleep at night. Thankfully not so this time and around 1.30am I stopped watching and fell asleep myself. For the next while the slightest movement had me jumping up but I must have fallen asleep eventually. The next thing I knew Fred was waking me from a nightmare...

“Stop making all that noise Daddy, I’m trying to sleep,” he said.

So that was it. Fred woke Saturday morning as right as rain. We kept him quiet for most of the day and despite the odd row with his mother all was well. After breakfast Fred said he had to tell me something.

“I’m really sorry for fainting at school,” he said, “I’m sorry for all the cuts on my face.”

Breaks my heart every time.

Yesterday I spotted Fred checking out his battle scars in the mirror.

Tomorrow will be a day of getting attention for bravery.

Our man will deserve every inch of it.


Posted by John Verling

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