Letter to the Editor: Moments matter when children are terminally ill

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Losing a child is something that no parent should have to bear. But tragically, there are over 3,800 children living in Ireland with life-limiting conditions and up to 700 of these children and their families require specialised hospice care.

That means that 3,800 Irish parents will, at some time in the future, have to deal with the loss of a son or daughter, a situation that most of us cannot even begin to imagine. That is why for this week, Children’s Hospice Week, I am calling on all parents, family members, relatives, and everyone else to take the time to recognise the small moments in our daily lives that may at first seem trivial, but which in time forms part of precious and valuable memories for all.

Children’s Hospice Week is run in Ireland by LauraLynn, Ireland’s only children’s hospice. It is the only week in the year dedicated to raising awareness and funds for children’s hospice care and the hundreds of seriously ill children and families supported by LauraLynn. It is also key to reaching the target of €4.3m which must be generated this year through donations and fundraising to help administer our services fully.

“Moments that Matter” is the theme for this year’s Children’s Hospice Week and builds on LauraLynn’s vision to “make every day better for those in our care”. LauraLynn children have complex and unpredictable health needs that require constant care and attention, and the physical, emotional and financial pressure on their families is immense.

Therefore in the maelstrom of activity, attention, routine, and urgency, it is often difficult to appreciate the poignant moments that feed into the tapestry of life, not only for LauraLynn families, but for us all.

So I would like to invite everyone this week to take a moment or two to pause and appreciate the small occasions that might otherwise pass us by. If you have access to social media, you can share your experiences via #MomentsThatMatter. And if you would like to participate in Children’s Hospice Week in any way, then please do visit www.LauraLynn.ie for more info on how to get involved.

In today’s hectic world we all should make some time to stop and reflect, so I call on everyone to join us this Children’s Hospice Week to appreciate the Moments That Matter in our daily lives.

Niall McHugh


LauraLynn Children’s Hospice

This reader's opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on May 21, 2019.

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