Family’s pain at passing of brave Ciara

THE grandmother of a 10-year-old girl who died while awaiting a double liver transplant spoke yesterday of the family’s pain at her passing.

Ciara Kelleher, who suffered from cystic fibrosis for seven years, was awaiting a life-saving operation in England when she died.

She passed away surrounded by her family at her home at Rosendale Gardens, Corbally, on Monday morning, clutching her favourite teddy.

“We are devastated. Ciara is now at peace and out of pain and we will miss her greatly,” said her grief-stricken grandmother, Joan Kelleher, yesterday.

Joan said she would never forget “Ciara’s heroic efforts to survive and live to have the transplant operation, but the call never came.”

Ciara was on oxygen 24 hours a day and had to get regular injections as she bravely fought her illness.

She had been put on the list for a double lung transplant operation at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Ciara’s plight was highlighted recently when Joan made an impassioned plea for lung donors, highlighting the importance of organ donations for everybody, but especially children.

Ciara, an only child of Mary Kelleher, lived originally in Cathedral Court, Pennywell, but had been staying with her grandparents, Joan and Danny Kelleher, in Corbally as her mother worked part-time each day.

Ciara was a pupil at St Mary’s girls’ national school in Bishop Street.

Reacting to Ciara’s death, school principal Rosemary Mangan said: “It’s really very sad. Ciara was a very bright child.”

The Requiem Mass for Ciara will take place in St Mary’s Church at 12 noon. The funeral afterwards is to Mount St Oliver Cemetery.

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