Tuesday 6 December 2016

Bravery award for Emma who fights courageous battle with skin condition

Sean O'Grady

Published 06/09/2016 | 02:30

Emma Fogarty, from Abbeyleix, with her mum Pat at the Hidden Heroes Awards
ceremony at the Doubletree Hilton in Dublin yesterday. Picture Credit: Frank McGrath
Emma Fogarty, from Abbeyleix, with her mum Pat at the Hidden Heroes Awards ceremony at the Doubletree Hilton in Dublin yesterday. Picture Credit: Frank McGrath

A woman who refuses to let a rare and painful skin condition get her down has received an award for her bravery at a ceremony yesterday.

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Emma Fogarty suffers from epidermolysis bullosa (EB), which leaves 80pc of her body covered in open sores. The Co Laois native (32) is one of only 300 people in Ireland who live with EB, also known as butterfly skin.

Pictured at the Hidden Hearing/ Irish Independent Hidden Heroes Awards ceremony at the Doubletree Hilton in Dublin, were, { L to R Back row] Heather McGrath, Special Recognition in Age is No Barrier Award, Stephen Leddy, MD Hidden Hearing, Marcin Mizgajski, Sporting Hero Award and Karen O Mahony, Corporate Social Responsibilty Hero Award, and front row, Joanne O Riordan, Hero Ambassador, and Sean McCullagh, Young Hero Award. Picture Credit: Frank McGrath
Pictured at the Hidden Hearing/ Irish Independent Hidden Heroes Awards ceremony at the Doubletree Hilton in Dublin, were, { L to R Back row] Heather McGrath, Special Recognition in Age is No Barrier Award, Stephen Leddy, MD Hidden Hearing, Marcin Mizgajski, Sporting Hero Award and Karen O Mahony, Corporate Social Responsibilty Hero Award, and front row, Joanne O Riordan, Hero Ambassador, and Sean McCullagh, Young Hero Award. Picture Credit: Frank McGrath

There is no cure, and the only treatment is constant, painful bandaging of the skin.

"If someone was walking towards me in the street, if you bumped off me, the skin would automatically tear off my arm; 80pc of my body is covered in bandages," she said.

"With any disability, if you have some hardship in your life, you don't have to sit in a corner. You can live your life."

Fogarty was the recipient of a Courage Over Adversity Award at the Hidden Heroes ceremony in Dublin's DoubleTree Hotel yesterday. Her mother Pat was nominated for Unsung Hero for her work caring for Emma.

Fogarty, who has suffered with ill health for several months, said, "You have to be positive about something like this, otherwise it will take over."

Other nominees include Dubliner Sean McCullagh who was honoured with the Young Hero Award. Sean, who was paralysed at age four, has gone on to excel in sport and was part of the Leinster Sailing Team.

Kildare single mother Linda Allen who lost her son Darragh to suicide in 2012 was also honoured.

Irish Independent

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