Friday 24 February 2017

Parents of terminally ill boys set to lose family home in three months

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Terence and Nicolette, with their sons Ben and Jake Connolly, who are the only children in Ireland with a rare syndrome that only affects boys called Allan Herndon Dudley Syndrome. The family are at risk of losing their home.
Terence and Nicolette, with their sons Ben and Jake Connolly, who are the only children in Ireland with a rare syndrome that only affects boys called Allan Herndon Dudley Syndrome. The family are at risk of losing their home.

A family with two terminally ill children face losing their home after falling in to arrears on their mortgage.

Ben and Jake Connolly were born with a rare syndrome that only affects boys called Allan Herndon Dudley Syndrome.

The pair are the only youngsters in Ireland with their condition, which affects less than 200 worldwide.

Their loving parents, Terence and Nicolette, fear they will lose the family home after been forced to give up work to care for the boys, who are brain damaged, have severe epilepsy, have no muscle tone and have short life expectancy.

Ben and Jake Connolly
Ben and Jake Connolly

"Myself and Nicolette had to give up our jobs to look after the boys so we are in negative equity and we can't afford to pay it, as there is no income coming in to pay for the mortgage," Terence told the Irish Daily Mirror.

"There's enough just to keep ESB bills paid and to look after the boys, ordinary everyday living."

The couple bought their small home in Mountmellick, Co Laois, for €178,000 14 years ago. But they've fallen in to arrears in recent years as their failed to meet monthly payments in full and now owe €217,000.

A deal reached back in September between the family and the bank is due to end soon, according to Nicolette.

"We have an agreement with the bank unitl September but then when it comes the agreement was that we were to hand over this house to them, voluntarily," she said.

"We will have to approach them shortly to see if they will let us stay here in the house a bit longer until we can get the other house money fundraised and built.

"We have no plan in place if they don't give us an extension. We have enough on our plate, to think about it. We just have to think positively."

A trust has been set up to build Ben and Jake a house in the name of Ben and Jake Connolly Trust, and will be given to another family with a child with similar disabilities or given a charity when they pass away.

To date, family and friends and the local community have already managed to raise €158,000 towards the fund.

To contribute towards the fund, please go to benandjakeconnollytrust.com

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