Inspired by the story of a newborn baby who was born with three holes in her heart and elderly patients who received cancer care, the whole college is pulling out all the stops to raise money for Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, Milford Hospice, Limerick, and the Clare Cancer 250 Mile Cycle.
St Munchin’s teacher Donal Madden and his wife Siobhán were overjoyed when Aibhlín was born two weeks prematurely at University College Hospital, Galway, on July 27.
However, their jubilation quickly turned to devastation when a murmur was detected in her heart. An ECG confirmed their first child had three holes in her heart.
Donal recalled how their whole world came tumbling down when the diagnosis was confirmed. “All we could hear was heart, three holes and Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children.
“Going into the hospital was a very moving experience. When you see so many children of all ages with cancer, and pipes and wires coming out of their bodies, you begin to realise your situation isn’t too bad after all.”
Initially doctors felt Aibhlín would need two bouts of open heart surgery. However, medics are now confident she should be able to fully recover in about a year as the gap in her heart has reduced.
A coffee morning will be held on Friday, December 10, at St Munchin’s College, with a raffle for the Munster Ospreys Heineken Cup match. The following day a 30km cycle to Killaloe and a climb of Maigh Lusa, the highest mountain in Clare, will be undertaken by students, staff and friends.
St Munchin’s student, Paul Curtis, Parteen knows the inside of Our Lady’s better than most having travelled to see his sister Nicole, 23, receive six open heart surgeries after being born with a hole in her heart and one chamber.
St Munchin’s student, Ray Murnane, Shannon Banks recalled how his grandfather, Louis Murnane and his grandmother were diagnosed with cancer within two weeks of each other. Louis was 74 when he died but Margaret recovered.
Donal’s mother, Kay, was sent to Lourdes by the Clare 250 mile cycle after contracting cancer in 1998. She recovered and now the family are keen to raise money for the Clare 250 event.
* Donations to Bank of Ireland Caherdavin branch in Limerick at 19438387/ Sort Code 900762