Sunday 28 May 2017

Jack and Jill founder Jonathan Irwin posts emotional video about the organisation’s inspiration – his late son Jack

Baby Jack Irwin, the son of Jack and Jill Foundation founder Jonathan
Baby Jack Irwin, the son of Jack and Jill Foundation founder Jonathan
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

The founder of the Jack and Jill Foundation Jonathan Irwin has posted an emotional video about his late son Jack, who was the inspiration behind the organisation which provides vital home care to critically ill children throughout the country.

Irwin (74) and his wife Mary-Ann welcomed baby Jack in 1996. In the days after his birth, the couple believe baby Jack choked to death and was resuscitated leaving him blind, deaf and unable to swallow.

Irwin revealed he was overwhelmed with the lack of services available to Irish parents coping with infants who needed 24 hour medical care and the family struggled to cope with the difficult situation.

Three months after Jack returned home, a local nurse volunteered to mind baby Jack and soon followed local people all willing to lend a hand in his care.

Jack tragically passed away 18 months later, inspiring Irwin to set up the Jack and Jill Foundation in 1997 so other parents could be supported in the way that his family had been through the unthinkable time.

“In 1996 there was no entitlement to support in the home for parents of children with severe brain damage,” said Jonathan.

Irwin revealed that the organisation has helped more than 2,000 children since its establishment, and urged people to donate to continue raising funds for the vital service.

“We deal with children up until the age of four who have brain damage, because they will need around-the-clock nursing. We were ordinary people, and tragedy came through our door and that changed everything,” he said.

To Donate €4 to The Jack and Jill Foundation text 'We Care' to 50300

Jonathan Irwin of the Jack and Jill Foundation
Jonathan Irwin of the Jack and Jill Foundation

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