Thursday 26 April 2018

Founders of Ireland’s children's hospice the ‘LauraLynn Foundation’ step down

Jane and Brendan McKenna
Jane and Brendan McKenna
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

The founders of Ireland’s first children’s hospice, the LauraLynn foundation have stepped down from the charity today.

Jane and Brendan Mc Kenna founded the hospice in 2001 after their two daughters Laura (4) and Lynn (15) passed away from life limiting conditions, 20 months apart from each other.

In a statement Jane and Brendan Mc Kenna said it’s time they took a “back seat in the future direction of LauraLynn”.

“After close to 14 years of  tireless  devotion,  we  feel  we have  realised  our  dream  and  worked  hard  to  raise  finances  to  build  and  run LauraLynn House. It  has  been  a  long,  sometimes  trying,  and  often  difficult  road,  but  ultimately  a great joy to see LauraLynn House open.  Our primary aspiration of establishing a ‘Home from Home’ for dying children will be a permanent  legacy  from  our  girls as  a  place  of haven and shelter to many other precious little ones and their families, when we ourselves have departed this world.”

The LauraLynn children's hospice Photo:
The LauraLynn children's hospice Photo:

They said they’d like to thank everyone who have been a part of the foundation and to the donors who “without them, LauraLynn would not exist”.

“We will always view LauraLynn as a legacy to our two girls, and it will continue to hold a special place in our hearts.  However, as we are now close to retirement, we feel it’s time to step back and start living a less confined life outside of LauraLynn now. We hope all at LauraLynn and the public will understand and respect our decision.”

They said they wish all the staff and supporters “happiness and good health” and that they “remember the precious little ones gone from us”.

“We hope LauraLynn will continue to bring special care and comfort to the current and future families  of  palliative  and  dying  children,  making  life  a  little  gentler  for  them,  and providing a shelter in which to make precious everlasting memories.”

Niall McHugh, Chairman of the Board at the LauraLynn Foundation expressed his deep gratitude to the McKennas.

“They were the inspiration and the driving force behind the establishment of LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice.

“They are among the true pioneers of the children’s palliative care movement in this country. Their legacy is not only the hospice, which bears their daughter’s names, but the opportunity to provide choice, changing the way we provide palliative care to children and families at the most difficult of times.”

In 2011 the LauraLynn House was opened by Jane and Brendan as a dedicated eight bed children’s palliative care unit.

The Hospice offers free support for children from birth to age 18 from anywhere in Ireland.

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