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Graeme's donation tees up big smiles

GOLFER Graeme McDowell has donated €160,000 to revamp the outdated and cramped cardiology ward at the country's largest children's hospital.

A visit to Crumlin Children's Hospital last year made such a strong impact on the golfer that he decided to support the hospital's latest fundraising campaign.

The campaign called "Fix Crumlin Hospital" was launched last March to raise €8m to revamp the cardiology and cancer wards.

Cramped conditions at the hospital mean parents often have to sleep on the floor to be near their critically ill children.

To date the campaign has raised €500,000.

Speaking to the Irish Independent last night ahead of the US Open, Mr McDowell, who donated the money through his G-Mac Foundation, said: "I was invited to visit Crumlin last year and I witnessed firsthand the space restrictions, outdated conditions and pressure that the staff, patients and families face on the cardiac ward.

"The hospital really touched my heart and I really wanted to get involved."

The 2010 US Open champion from Portrush, Co Antrim said he recently got to know some of the families from Crumlin Hospital when his Foundation brought them to Disneyworld in Orlando for a special holiday.

"It feels fantastic to be able to get involved and help out the children and meet some of their families," he said.

Dr Orla Franklin, consultant paediatric cardiologist at Crumlin, welcomed his support.

"His support for our new unit is invaluable," she said.

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Irish Independent