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Thursday 29 September 2016

Mother burned in BBQ horror raises €200k for hospital

Joanne McMahon who sustained serious burns when she was lighting a Bain Marie; with husband Mike.
Joanne McMahon who sustained serious burns when she was lighting a Bain Marie; with husband Mike.

A mum who miraculously survived after being burned in a horror barbecue accident has raised over €200,000 for the National Burns Unit, where she received life-saving treatment.

After waking up from a month-long induced coma, Joanne McMahon promised doctors she would spearhead a fundraiser for the burns unit, located at St James's Hospital, Dublin.

Joanne said she was "delighted" to hand over a cheque for a massive €209,976.62 to Odhran Shelley, National Burns Unit Director, at the culmination of a 131-day fundraising campaign.

Airlifted

The 131 days of cake sales and dances, cycles and concerts, represented the time Joanne spent in the burns unit.

In June 2014, Joanne was airlifted to hospital from her home in Castlemahon, Co Limerick, after a Bane Marie food heater exploded into a ball of flames over her. She sustained serious burns to 50pc of her body at a confirmation party for one of her children when she poured methylated spirits into the already lit food heater, which then burst into flames. A ball of fire engulfed her face neck and hands.

The Joanne McMahon Thanksgiving Fund was launched last December, and ended on Friday with the cheque presentation at Castlemahon Community Hall.

An initial target of €15,000 had been set - however, after donations flowed in from all over the world, including Australia and America, proceeds came to over €200,000. All the funds raised are going directly to the National Burns Unit.

Happy

Ms McMahon said yesterday: "It's unbelievable. I would have been happy had we raised €30,000, but this took on a life of its own after we started last year.

"It was such a massive involvement by everybody. I have to thank all the people of West Limerick, but we also got support from Auckland, Chicago and Sydney...it's nearly impossible to thank everyone."

Management at the burns unit are to erect a plaque marking her extraordinary efforts as the "first benefactor" to the unit. A similar plaque will also be erected in Ms MacMahon's hometown of Castlemahon.

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