NEW CAM­PAIGN AIMS TO ‘DIG DEEP FOR DARRAGH’

New Ross Standard - - NEWS - By DAVID LOOBY

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.

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