Laois community comes together to build house for mum-of-two, after surviving several life-threatening illnesses

A community has come together to build a house for a mother and her young family after she suffered several life-threatening illnesses in the space of nine months.
Laois community comes together to build house for mum-of-two, after surviving several life-threatening illnesses
Andrea Broughan, in hospital in Co Laois

A community has come together to build a house for a mother and her young family after she suffered several life-threatening illnesses in the space of nine months.

Mum-of-two Andrea ‘Andy’ Broughan, from Arlington Estate in Portarlington, Co Laois over the past nine months has battled meningitis, two major swellings on her brain, a clot and was then hit with three strokes and damage to her spinal nerve.

Andy, who played for PortDara Falcon’s Women’s rugby team, now needs full-time ventilation and is unable to talk or move. The past few months have been devastating for her fiancé Adam Cullen, their children five-year-old Evan and Elena who is four-years-old along with her parents Paul and Jan.

However, the people of Portarlington and the county of Laois launched a fundraiser last month in a bid to build a new home for Andy.

In the five weeks, since June 20, they have raised almost €30,000 has through the crowding funding site Gofundme.com and as a result volunteers have come forward to help in the house construction.

Ground was broken on June 19 as work on the house started in earnest and already the blocks and roof are in place.

Barry Lambkin, a joint fundraising organiser explained that, “there is almost no hope of recovery for Andy who requires full time ventilation and is unable to move or talk.

“(She) will never be able to leave hospital because of the care that she requires and so we are fundraising so that a home can be built for her partner Adam and their two young children Evan and Elena.

Andrea Broughan, in hospital in Co Laois
Andrea Broughan, in hospital in Co Laois

Friend Michelle Maher said: “The sheer good will of people and their donations of time, money and materials has made all of this possible.

“There is still work to be done though – so we need to continue fundraising to cover the costs that arise as the project gets to certain points, where donations of material and labour are not possible.

“Andy has been fighting hard in hospital and has been getting stronger. She is doing things they didn’t think she would do.

“She has defied so many odds along the way. For anyone who knows Andy this is not at all surprising. She is a true warrior, a fighter and is doing her best to some day hopefully get home to her family.” Andy is very involved in all of the decision making around the build and is kept updated each day on any progress and decisions required.

“She is blown away with the progress on the build and the community spirit. Andy is bringing a community together at a time when things have been so uncertain with Covid-19 and has helped generate so much good will around her,” added Michelle.

“It has helped her so much to be able to have visits again from her Fiancé, her Mum, Dad, Sister and Brother. Covid-19 meant restrictions were in place so visits were not permitted for months which has been tough for Andy and her family.” The fundraising organisers are hoping to raise €40,000 and so far €28,676 has been donated.

Donations can be made via GoFundMe.

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