NEW CAMPAIGN AIMS TO ‘DIG DEEP FOR DARRAGH’
A FUNDRAISING campaign has been launched for a 13-year-old local boy who needs two potentially life saving operations. Darragh Power from St Martin’s Park in Ballycullane was born on March 29, 2004 and quickly became ill.
He was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis in July of that year.
A fundraising campaign called ‘Dig Deep for Darragh’ has been set up by Darragh’s grandfather’s partner Angela Hennessy.
Angela said: ‘ Darragh is the most courageous, bravest boy. He is witty and has a great sense of humour for a boy that’s gone through so much.’
Darragh has required extensive medical treatment over the years and has received treatment at University Hospital Waterford, in the UK and in Dublin hospitals. He returned home last Monday having spent three weeks in Crumlin Children’s Hospital.
Despite his sickness he has attended school and never dropped a year. He is currently a First Year student at Ramsgrange Community School.
Unlike most boys his age, Darragh often has to study at hospital and his mother said he is always eager to learn.
Every school day Darragh gets up at 6.30 a.m. to get his medication and nebulizer and goes through the same procedure at night. He also has to get peg fed at night for nine hours, six nights a week, and use a bipap machine with overnight oxygen as he is not growing as he should be. Jacinta said Darragh loves school and sports. ‘He loves Maths and History and is sports mad. Up until a year ago he loved playing hurling, soccer and football. He goes to every Gusserane match he can and is like the team’s little mascot.’
Darragh also loves Chelsea FC, Conor McGregor and watching darts. Jacinta said Darragh has been very anxious over recent weeks as there were problems with his port for his IV. ‘ There were problems with his port and he had to get it removed and replaced. They took out the original peg tubing so there is a little button on it now so he is happier with it. We are trying to keep everything as positive as possible.’
The fundraising campaign aims to raise €5,000 for the Power family towards the cost of flights and subsistence in the UK where John and Jacinta will be based for lengthy periods in 2018, providing Darragh is approved for surgery. To date around one fifth of the sum has been raised, but far more is expected to be needed to meet the costs of spending extended periods in Newcastle. ‘We are still living in the unknown and everything is coming at us. All of the organs are very important but the liver is the biggest risk because of the possible complications,’ Jacinta said.
His parents John and Jacinta and siblings Shane, Amy, Ciara, Leah and Sophie have all been there with him throughout.
Jacinta said her son needs treatment at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. ‘Darragh has been put forward for a double lung assessment and a liver assessment. He was in Newcastle for four days in August for tests and our consultant said he does need a double lung transplant but because of his liver complications everything is delayed.’
Jacinta and the family are hoping Darragh will be operated on later this month, and if not in January. His weight decreased to 2lb 10, everybody started to worry then, rushed back to hospital he was very sick, Nobody knew why his weight plummeted so quick. A few times Darragh’s heart gave away,
‘If he dies again we’ll let God have his way’. The nurses and doctors said to let him go. He fought some battle 13 years ago. We found out soon after he had cystic fibrosis, the kids find it easier to say ‘sixtyfive roses’. It was tough for us all trying to figure it out, We didn’t understand what CF was about. Hospital visits are a big part of his life, and he regularly goes ‘under the knife’, His lungs are failing his liver is too, you wouldn’t believe what he has to go through. But Darragh’s a fighter like 13 years ago, so we have faith he will get through this you know! Please prey for my nephew that everything goes his way, and if he gets this transplant it will all go ok. So I thank you all for your generous donations. He’s soon off to Newcastle for his liver consultation, All monies raised goes towards travel and expences, as all these hospital visits are quite expensive.
13-year-old Darragh Power who has Cystic Fibrosis photographed at his home with his mother Jacinta and Angela Hennessy who set up the Go Fund Me page.