herald

Sunday 30 April 2017

'It's so hard', say parents of seriously ill Megan (9)

Megan Farrell (left) with sister Emma in Crumlin hospital
Megan Farrell (left) with sister Emma in Crumlin hospital

The parents of a nine-year-old girl are pleading with the public to help raise vital funds for their seriously ill child.

Megan Farrell, from Finglas, Co Dublin, is currently in Crumlin Hospital for the fourth time since November 2016.

Parents Ashling and Colm are pleading with the public to help raise vital funds for Megan, who was born with a condition known as Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome, which means the right side of her heart didn't develop properly.

Megan also has a tracheostomy tube to help her breathe and a peg feeding tube to help her eat. She can't speak and was diagnosed with scoliosis, meaning she is unable to walk.

But her parents say she can still light up a room with her smile.

The couple also have two younger girls - Emma (6) and Ellie May (11 months) - making it very difficult to care for Megan 24 hours a day.

"We found out she dislocated her hip, but because she has heart problems, doctors aren't sure if her heart could take the surgery to fix it," said Ashling.

"She's on pain relief, but any time we move her, she's crying in pain.

"It's so hard as a parent watching her scream in pain, especially when you're causing it by moving her."

Before Megan dislocated her hip, Ashling said she was a "happy child who was always smiling", but now she is in constant pain.

"It breaks my heart to see her like this," she said.

The family is pleading with the public to help raise funds to buy equipment for Megan to meet her basic needs.

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Currently, Megan's wheelchair doesn't fit in the car, so the family is trying to raise funds for a wheelchair-accessible car.

As Megan sleeps in the sitting room downstairs, the family also needs money to make the home more accessible.

Megan needs 24-hour care, but often a nurse trained to care for her requirements isn't available and family members spend most nights caring for Megan themselves.

"Her homecare package allocates a night nurse, however, due to a severe lack of tracheostomy-trained nurses, they are often unavailable or simply don't turn up," the family said.

One of Megan's favourite things is going to school, but she often can't attend because a tracheostomy-trained nurse isn't available there, they added.

You can donate to help the family at gofundme.com/ supermegs.

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