Mother offers house as collateral to fund surgery for young daughter

A mother has offered her house as collateral in a desperate bid to raise €100,000 to sponsor her daughter’s life-saving operation in Spain

Zara Cronin, 10, is in a wheelchair. An accident left her with a neck injury that required a halo brace to keep her neck straight for months.

Her mother, Ann O’Gorman, is looking for 20 sponsors to provide €5,000 each, on the basis they will recoup €6,000 after three years.

In a legal agreement to be drawn up by Ms O’Gorman’s solicitor, each sponsor will own a share in her Dysert home, until all their sponsorship is paid back in full.

With equity of an estimated €200,000 available on her home, Ms O’Gorman is prepared to legally sign a document giving all sponsors a specific share of the house.

The claim on her five-bedroom, one-and-a-half storey detached house, which is 12 kilometres from Ennis, becomes null and void once all sponsors are paid €6,000.

On December 4 last, Zara dislocated her C1 and C2 joints, after her head effectively came away from her neck.

Zara doesn’t qualify for the Treatment Abroad Scheme or the Cross-Border Initiative, because her operation wasn’t recommended by an Irish consultant and can’t be completed in Ireland.

While this operation isn’t very common for a 10-year-old, because of the size of her vertabrae, Ann insists she has no option but to go ahead with this craniocervical fusion, because Zara’s instability is so acute.

Independent TD, Dr Michael Harty, has called on the HSE to put funding in place to deal with exceptional cases like this, so that this operation is funded by the State.

“Zara’s situation is quite unique and exceptional. An exceptional case should be made for her by the HSE to the Department of Health to fund this surgery to maintain her independence and make sure she doesn’t become confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life, which will cost the state far in excess of the cost of surgery.

“It is completely unacceptable that a mother has to fundraise €100,000 for her daughter’s surgery that should be funded by the State,” he said.

Zara had to undergo a sit-up MRI in London, which couldn’t be done in Ireland. It provided the medical evidence for her life-saving surgery.

Ann explained that her daughter can’t stand up for an MRI, so she required a special sit-up one to meet her own medical needs.

“This MRI scan is very detailed. They are way ahead in the United Kingdom, in terms of scanning equipment.”

Anyone who wishes to become a sponsor can contact Ann on 087-7928780. They can also make a donation online here or at Permanent TSB, O’Connell Street, Ennis. The account number is iE67iPBS99072827283203 BIC iPBSie2d


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