Sunday 18 February 2018

'It's hard as a parent watching her scream in pain' - Parents plead for funds for seriously ill Megan (9)

Megan (9) needs vital funds to help meet her basic needs
Megan (9) needs vital funds to help meet her basic needs
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

The parents of a nine-year-old girl are pleading with the public to help raise vital funds for their seriously ill child.

Megan Farrell (9) from Finglas, Co Dublin, is currently in Crumlin hospital for the fourth time since November 2016.

Parents Ashling and Colm are pleading with the public to help raise vital funds for Megan who was born with a condition known as Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS), which means the right side of her heart didn't develop properly.

Megan also has a tracheostomy tube to help her breathe and a peg feeding tube to help her eat. She can’t speak and was diagnosed with scoliosis meaning she is unable to walk. But her parents say she can still light up a room with her smile and brings lots of joy to her family and friends.

The couple also have two younger girls, Emma (6) and Ellie May (11 months), making it very difficult to care for Megan 24-hours a day.

"We found out she dislocated her hip but because she has heart problems doctors aren't sure if her heart could take a surgery to fix it.

Megan (9) with sister Emma (6)
Megan (9) with sister Emma (6)

"She's on pain relief but anytime we move her she's crying in pain. If we take her home we'll have to move her from the car and from her bedroom downstairs to the bathroom upstairs.

"It's so hard as a parent watching her scream in pain, especially when you're causing it by moving her," mum Ashling said.

Before Megan dislocated her hip, Ashling says she was a "happy child who was always smiling" but now she's in constant pain.

"She just wants to be left in bed and won't give us any smiles. It breaks my heart to see her like this."

The family are pleading with the public to help raise funds to buy equipment for Megan to meet her basic needs.

Currently, Megan's wheelchair doesn't fit in the car, so the family are trying to raise funds for a wheelchair accessible car.

As Megan sleeps in the sitting room downstairs, the family also need to raise money to make their home more accesible.

Dad Colm is Megan's main carer at home and he says it's getting more difficult to carry the nine-year-old up and down the stairs to use the bathroom.

"It's getting near impossible. Her bones are so brittle that I'm terrified I'm going to hit any part of her off the stairs. She's getting heavy too, so soon we won't be able to lift her anymore. I don't know what we're going to do," Colm said.

Megan needs 24-hour care, but often a nurse trained to care for Megan's requirements isn't available and the family spend most nights caring for Megan themselves.

"There is a constant risk that her tube could block which would prevent her from breathing which is why only people that are trained in this can look after her. Her homecare package allocates a night nurses however due to a severe lack of tracheostomy trained nurses they are often unavailable or simply don’t turn up leaving us to cover three or four nights a week.

"One of us have to stay awake all night to make sure she's still breathing," said Ashling.

One of Megan's favourite things is going to school but she often can't attend because a tracheostomy trained nurse isn't available at the school.

"She cries when she can't go to school because she is very clever. She's a wizzard on the ipad and loves being around other people."

The family said any donations would be extremely helpful as they say they can't go on living the way they are.

"She desperately needs help as soon as possible. She can't go on like this anymore. We would be so grateful for any help," said Ashling.

You can donate to help Ashling here

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