An inspirational mother whose son Daniel was severely brain damaged following the removal of a large cancerous tumour soon after he was born has been named as the Tipperary Carer of the Year.
Mags Gubbins lives in Kilfeacle and has three sons Daniel, Dylan (15) and Shane (18) who nominated his mother for the award.
“My parents’ joy was cut short soon after Daniel’s birth when the doctors found a large cyst pressing onto the left side of his brain. Dan’s condition was extremely rare, one of an extremely small number across the world. The operation left him with serious brain damage and my parents were told that Dan would never talk, walk, laugh or smile but Dan has proved the majority of what the doctors predicted wrong. He is an amazing personality who would talk the ear off you, he loves to sing and has a great sense of humour,” said Shane.
Daniel is wheelchair bound and suffers from many mental disabilities as well as physical ones. He has strict autistic tendencies and routine is massive in his life and breaks in routine can spark volatile mood swings.
“We all bear the battle scars from these swings and my mother is his most sought after target, she takes two minutes to gather her thoughts and then engages him again until she can get to the bottom of his troubles,” said Shane. “My mother has held this family together through extremely stressing times. The love she holds for Dylan and I, is immense, but for Daniel, it is incomprehensible. Even though he’s often fit to kill her, she is his idol, she is his rock.”
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet and I don’t really know what to say,” said Mags. Daniel said of his mam, “ she taught me to sing… I love to sing.”
Mags told the Nationalist that her mother, Nellie Roach who lives next door, has been a huge help to her over the years. “My mother has been there for me since the day Daniel was born and I guess my strength, if you can call it that, comes from the fact that although I’m Daniel’s carer, I’m also his mum and my love for him and his brothers is unconditional,”