AS THE sixth anniversary approaches of the tragic loss of young Aoife Kennedy (5) in a traffic accident in Carnew, a local family has paid tribute to her, after a ventilator partfunded in her memory helped save the life of one of their twin sons.
Callum and Adam Kenny, sons of Brid Kenny and Jason Doyle, who are now approaching their third birthday, were born 10 weeks premature at Holles Street Hospital in Dublin. While the boys are now home on the Coolattin Road, Carnew, and doing well, it's been a tough road for them.
At birth, Adam weighed three pounds 11 oz, and Callum, three pounds, nine oz. After six weeks, they were transferred to Wexford General, but Adam had lung problems and remained in hospital longer than Callum.
One day, while Brid was home checking on Callum, she received a call from the hospital asking her to return immediately as Adam had taken a turn for the worse.
When she got there, she was met by a priest who had just baptised Adam, as the hospital staff were worried that he wouldn't survive the journey to Temple Street Hospital where he needed urgent medical help with his lungs.
As Brid was leaving the hospital for the ambulance she noticed the plaque on the ventilator in which Adam was being transported, and immediately she recognised Aoife Kennedy's name on it. 'Aoife's mother Caroline is a good friend of my mother's,' she said.
En route to the hospital, the ambulance had to pull in as Adam stopped breathing, but the crew got him back, and he arrived safely to Temple Street Hospital where he remained until he grew stronger.
Today, the family believes that Adam would not be alive only for the transport ventilator that was funded by The Aoife Kennedy Memorial Fund and The Baby Max Foundation and are extremely grateful for the gift of life. ' Only for the ventilator, he wouldn't be here today,' said Brid. 'I got in touch with Caroline afterwards, and she was grateful the machine saved a local child's life.'
She said her sons are now doing great. They attend six monthly check ups at the hospital, and are now waiting on Speech and Language Therapy. ' They are on the right track,' said Brid.
The Kennedy family set up The Aoife Kennedy Memorial Fund after Aoife's tragic death in 2006, and added her sister Aine's name to the Fund, when she sadly passed away at the age of five and a half in April 2010 of culture negative sepsis triggered by a febrile seizure. 'We will never get over our loss, but just cope with the hurt and anger we feel for being cheated of two beautiful little girls who are now angels,' said Caroline Kennedy.
'We thank Brid for telling her story to the public and after meeting her two little boys, we are happy for them that we could help them and although they have a long way to go, we do hope they will get the medical assistance they need,' she added. ' The twins will be three years old at the end of November and I do believe they have a special little angel watching over them.'
'In the coming weeks we hope to open the A&E paedeatric room at Wexford General Hospital,' she continued. 'A great deal of thanks has to go to DoneDeal in Wexford for their huge donation to the girls' charity.' On December 8, there's a thank you party night in The Lodge, Carnew, where they will hold the monster raffle.
Aoife's sixth Anniversary Mass will take place on Sunday, November 11, at St. Bridget's Church , Annacurra at 11 a.m.