A mother in Cork has been overwhelmed by the generosity of people in Ireland after she won her race against time to raise €35,000 for lifesaving operations for her twin daughters.
Zoe and Maya Murnane were born premature last June and diagnosed with Long Segment Tracheal Stenosis, which causes major blockages to the airways. The twins have had to be fed through tubes for most of their lives and need to be monitored constantly.
They need an operation to open their airways but the procedure is not available on the HSE in Ireland. Audrey Murnane the twins’ mum, says she feels “let down” by the Irish health system after simply being told to call an ambulance if one of the girls turns blue.
‘We’re very lucky, thank God for all this help’
However, the operations that the twins need is available at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. They can carry out the operations before Christmas, but at a cost of over €17,000 each. The deadline for payment was 16th December.
Audrey immediately set about trying to raise the funds. She set up a Facebook page for the appeal and has received support and donations from all over the world.
Audrey said: “In the first 24 hours, we raised 30 per cent of the target. It’s amazing to experience the enormity of the support that is out there. We’re very lucky, thank God, that we’re getting all this help.”
The Munster rugby team are one group in the public eye that supported the appeal. An online auction of merchandise was set up after a chance meeting between Audrey and Munster Lock Donnacha O’Callaghan in a Limerick hotel.
‘Changed the lives of two little girls forever’
Audrey said: “It was like a sign from God and I got really upset. Donnacha came over and sat down, he didn’t know me and didn’t know what was wrong with me, but he sat down with me, went through everything that was wrong and said “right, we’ll do anything and everything we can to help”.”
Zoe and Maya posed for photos with the Munster team last week and inspired the players to a crushing victory over Perpignan on Sunday.
Audrey posted a message of thanks to everyone who donated and supported the campaign:
“Our dream was to raise €34,600. Our reality is, your generosity has given us a miracle. You have made all our dreams come true, helped us to achieve the impossible and changed the lives of two little girls forever. We have also managed to raise surplus funds which will be put towards an ongoing treatment plan for Maya and Zoe.”