Storm Keating details terrifying hospital dash for emergency back surgery

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Australian fashion designer Storm Keating certainly has a lot on her plate. Not only does she have a house full, she’s also recovering from an emergency operation on her spine. The 39-year-old, who married Ronan in 2015, was admitted to hospital for a prolapsed disc back in March. “I was in so much pain – I couldn’t breathe properly,” she admits.

And their hectic household is jam-packed. While Storm has Cooper, four, and one-year-old Coco with Ronan, the former Boyzone star is also dad to Jack, 22, Missy, 20, and Ali, 15, from a previous marriage. “We have a very full family and busy household,” Storm says.

Here, the fashion expert tells us all about her frightening ordeal and how Ronan, 44, supported her through it…

Hi Storm! Is Ronan a hands-on dad?

Ronan is possibly one of the most hands-on dads I’ve ever known in my life. He does everything. Especially at the minute – I had a serious back injury and condition. He’s taken on everything from the cooking and the cleaning, the nap times, bed and bath times – he’s unbelievable.

What happened with your back?

It started off as a severely prolapsed disc, that kept getting worse. I was warned that surgical intervention was needed. But I wanted to explore all the natural options. I had a steroid injection which I thought was working, but it was just masking the injury while it kept escalating. I was rushed to the hospital because I couldn’t move. I was in so much pain, I couldn’t breathe properly.

Once I was in the hospital stabilising, I was in there for three days and then woke up on the fourth. By then the condition had kicked into cauda equina syndrome. That’s when it becomes a medical emergency as paralysis kicks in. We had a very small window for them to operate and decompress the nerves otherwise you lose the use of your legs, bladder and bowels.

That’s terrifying! Has it changed the way you look at life?

Definitely. Your whole life can change just like that. It was just from being a bit ignorant and it’s not worth it. I’m still not 100% better and I’m going through rehabilitation. The programme I’m doing might be something I have to do for the rest of my life.

Is Ronan a big support?

Yeah. Ro is such a sweetheart. He’s very supportive of everything.

What’s the secret to a happy marriage?

We are just meant to be. It’s two hearts that are completely in love. We adore each other. We’ve been through trials and tribulations. But 10 years of being together and I think we could get through everything.

Would you renew your vows?

I don’t think so. Our minds might change in another 10 years, but we tell each other we love each other every day! He knows how much I adore him. But it might be a nice idea after Covid-19. It would be super fun
to have a big celebration with our friends.

Are you proud to have a blended family?

We feel so grateful. Obviously it can go either way, but we’ve been really blessed. We’re so proud and we just love them all
so much. To see them all getting on like a house on fire is like a dream come true.

How are little Coco and Cooper doing?

Great! Cooper is the sweetest little boy. He’s super chilled and very empathetic. He’s got a lot of emotional intelligence and adores his little sister. Coco… My gosh! In comes this firecracker. She is like a force to be reckoned with. She’s a brilliant sleeper, very sweet and cuddly. But the girl knows what she wants! They are different but beautiful in their own ways.

Do they take after you or Ronan?

There are certain qualities that are just like both of us. Growing up, I was always very determined. I had three older brothers
and I grew up on a cattle property. So my mentality was anything the boys can do, I can do too! I can see that in Coco already. She started walking at nine months, she’s 12 months and she’s walking up the steps.

How would you describe the household?

Manic! We’ve got so much going on. We have a very full family and busy household. We’re definitely capping it at five kids!

Tell us about teaming up with Sky Q…

I am currently working with Sky Q to launch their Kids Quotes service. It’s been created to allow kids and families to get the content they love easily by using the Sky Q voice remote to search for TV shows using catchphrases or character names. There are no more guessing games when Cooper can’t remember the name of the show as we can say “Chase is on the case” or “Can we fix it?” and it takes us to Paw Patrol or Bob The Builder. We love it.

Storm Keating has partnered with Sky Q to launch Kids Quotes voice search for kids. try it now by pressing the blue button on your voice remote and using one of the new 25 catchphrases

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