THIS letter is long, long overdue. It is to thank you for changing my life. Everybody has a life-changing event. You were my event. Do you remember when you were on holidays in a little fishing village in North West Donegal in the summer of 1954? You were walking along the road by the beach when you saw my sister and I playing. You saw that I had club feet.
You asked where I lived and I showed you the house, a three-roomed thatched house.
After some time my mother called me. You lifted me on to the kitchen table and traced the shape of my feet on a sheet of brown paper.
I don’t know your name or where you came from. Your name has been lost in time but my memory of you still lives on.
From that day on things moved so fast. My father and mother told me that I had an appointment for another operation in Stephen’s Hospital. I had been to Temple Street when I was 10 months old and Cappagh when I was a year and 10 months. I was told that I could not have another operation until I was 12 years old. You disagreed. You said I would be too old. I had the surgery at nine years — it was a success. I was able to do all the things that I would never have been able to do. Walk again, run, work, dance and romance.
I got married to Mary and we have four lovely children. When they were born the first thing that I did was check their feet and as I did I thought of you. Likewise, with my grandchildren.
I hope you are alive to read this. Or did you tell your children or your grandchildren what you did for that wee boy in North West Donegal all them years ago? That wee boy is 72 years old now. I hope your life was as good as you made mine. How do I say thank you for something like that? Not easy.
Yours VERY sincerely,
Name and address with Editor