Irish News

Saturday 12 July 2014

Meet Zoe, the little girl who outshone the celebrities at Crumlin

Aishling Phelan

Published 17/12/2013|12:35

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Meet two-year-old Zoe Lonergan, the little girl who put the celebrities to shame with her dance moves at Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin.

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Zoe is a well-known face at the hospital – she visits there twice a week for treatment for juvenile arthritis.

But Zoe’s condition didn’t in any way hinder her cool moves on Monday afternoon – indeed she took part in a dance-off with Mrs Brown star Brendan O’Carroll.

It wasn’t long before Zoe was dancing beside Brendan to cheery Christmas carols and showing off her star quality.

Zoe’s moves come just a week after her family were told she has juvenile arthritis.

The diagnosis came after Zoe developed a limp.

She was admitted to the hospital in November and stayed there for a month as doctors conducted tests.

Brendan O'Carroll's wife Jenny Gibney and 2 year old Zoe Lonergan at the celebrity ward walk at our lady's children's hospital, Crumlin
Brendan O'Carroll's wife Jenny Gibney and 2 year old Zoe Lonergan at the celebrity ward walk at our lady's children's hospital, Crumlin

She was discharged last week after the diagnosis, which is a condition that swells the blood and causes loss of motion in the joints.

However, there were no signs of this on Monday afternoon as the little girl's love of music made her the star of the day, with plenty of celebrities checking out her moves.

''She had an absolute ball. When it comes to music, she just loves it, even when an ad comes up on TV she will get up and start dancing,'' her mother Natalie Long told independent.ie.

''We were sitting waiting in the hospital for Zoe to get an infusion of steroids when a woman came over and asked if we wanted to go and have a look at the choir,'' she said.

Zoe is from Firhouse and her mum is delighted she’ll be home for Christmas.

Zoe must visit the hospital now twice a week to receive blood tests and an infusion of steroids.

''It was touch and go for a while whether she could come home for Christmas but thank God she will','' she said.

The hospital was buzzing with excitement as the celebrities' visit had been widely anticipated by children and their families.

A string of well-known faces, including Shane Byrne, Keith Barry and Rosanna Davison, visited the hospital to sing carols and greet dozens of young patients.

Doctors initially feared that Zoe was suffering from meningitis or leukaemia.

 Her mother says doctors told her Zoe is one of 70 sufferers in Ireland and was the youngest case they had seen.

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