We can laugh now
IMAGINE being told your unborn baby had a rare tumour on her head that could result in permanent brain damage upon her birth.
That was the devastating news Linda Kearney was given by doctors when 20-weeks pregnant with her second child.
Doctors had discovered a growth on the child's head that they feared would grow as the baby developed; eventually penetrating the her head, causing irreparable brain damage.
"I was completely blown back. The doctor put her arms around me and said she would be there for me, but all the kind words in the world could not even begin to console me," Linda told The Corkman.
However, despite being warned by doctors at 35-weeks that the baby would not survive, Linda and her husband Roy were not about to give up on their daughter.
Ava Kearney was born shortly after with a tumor measuring half the size of her head, which doctors subsequently diagnosed as rapidly involuting congenital hemangioma, a rare benign vascular tumour that normally only affects infants after birth.
In fact, the condition was so rare in the womb that doctor's presented the case at the world famous Harvard Medical School. It has since been written up in various medical journals.
Against all the odds, doctor's devised a non-invasive treatment regime that saw the tumour gradually disappear ands in April 2009 she was finally given the all-clear.
Today, Ava is a happy go lucky five-year-old who started school for the first time last September.
"A lot has gone on over the past few years and I cannot begin to say how grateful I am to the medical staff that showed us so much kindness and compassion," said Linda.
Last year, Linda hosted a fundraising night, raising more than €7,000 for the Children's Unit at CUH and Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin.
She will repeat the hugely popular event on Saturday, June 22 at the Hibernian Hotel, with a night of 'craic agus ceoil' in the company of special guest Seán Óg Ó hAilpín.
The event will also feature a zumba demonstration and music in the company of The Laughing Shamrocks.
"This is really our way of saying thank you to the people who were there for us during our time of need," she added.
Tickets for the event, priced at €15 are available at the reception desk in the Hibernian Hotel or from Linda on 087 7732572.