Sunday 18 February 2018

'Oh my Goodness, that’s amazing' - Man offers to pay €30,000 needed to repatriate baby Zoe Ireland after appeal on Ray D'Arcy show

Zoe Ireland Drake
Zoe Ireland Drake

Ciara Treacy

AN anonymous donor has made miracle baby Zoe Ireland Drake’s first visit home to Tennessee possible.

Zoe’s mother Jenny went into premature labour in October at 25 weeks, while on a transatlantic flight which was diverted to Rotunda Hospital.

The family spent Christmas in Ireland and when the news came that Zoe was permitted to travel home to the States, a GoFundMe account was set up to raise the €61,500 cost of a medical flight which would not be covered by insurance.

Ms Drake, an optometrist in the US, was surprised with the news on the Ray D’Arcy Show this afternoon that the remainder of the money had been donated anonymously.

“I’ve got some news for you, we got a text yesterday,” Ray began.

He told Jenny that an anonymous donor has offered to pay the remaining €30,000 to send the family home

“He’s 100pc above board, and he 100pc wants to fund the repatriation of Zoe Ireland to her home country of America."

Ray read a portion of a message from the man:

“Unfortunately I don’t have a corporate jet, but I want to say as a family we want to donate in their quest to get home.

“Luckily, I have a successfully business, but I like my daughters to take an interest in giving something back. I would however like to remain completely anonymous and do not want any publicity for doing this."

Jenny was almost left speechless after the revelation:

“Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, I’m not going to be able to talk. Wow.

“You should have prepared me for this if you could. Oh my Goodness, that’s amazing.

She joked that she’ll name next child after the man.

“You don’t know how much I appreciate you….” 

Ms Drake previously said the family was hopeful the funds would be raised.

“We keep staying positive. The good news is that she's doing well and we can't really hang our heads at this point," she told the Irish Independent.

"The main thing we're working on now is feeding - she's still being tube-fed but she's off oxygen.

"She's growing. She's at five pounds, five ounces. The further we've gone, the more we've been able to hold her.

"I'm just ready to be home and to hold her in my own house and feel like it's normal. I'm ready to show off my baby to my family.

"We don't think we could have landed anywhere else that would have treated us this well.”

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