Sunday 21 January 2018

'She's everybody's bright light' - Lily Rose thriving in grandparents' care after mum died tragically day after birth

Lily Rose Inset: Tragic Mum Nicola
Lily Rose Inset: Tragic Mum Nicola
Lily Rose
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A baby girl, whose mother died in a tragic car crash the day after she was born, is her family's "bright light" as they struggle every day to deal with the tragedy.

Nicola Kenny,  from Thurles, Co Tipperary, was a mum for just one day when she was killed in a car crash last September.

Nicola had been travelling to Dublin's Temple Street Children's Hospital where Lily Rose had been taken the day she was born because of concerns over her health.

On the way, her phone rang and Nicola and her mother, Ann, and aunt, Irene, who was driving, pulled on to the hard shoulder of the M8 to take the call.

It was from Temple Street with the good news that Lily Rose was in good health and could be taken back home.

As Nicola, who was sitting in the back, relayed the happy news to her mother and aunt, a truck struck the car. Nicola was killed, and both Ann and Irene were badly injured.

Nicola Kenny
Nicola Kenny

Little Lily Rose, now seven-months-old, is thriving in the care of her grandparents Ann and Paddy.

And now, Lily Rose's cousin, Tomás Whelan, is fundraising to help the family care for the tot.

"We decided to do the Hell and Back event to try and raise some money for Lily Rose," he told

"Neither of her grandparents are working since the accident and we're trying to help in any way we can.

Lily Rose Kenny with her loving grandfather Paddy at home in Thurles, Co Tipperary Picture: Colin O'Riordan
Lily Rose Kenny with her loving grandfather Paddy at home in Thurles, Co Tipperary Picture: Colin O'Riordan

"Nicola had set up a credit union account for Lily Rose when she found out she was pregnant with her because she wanted Lily Rose to have savings, so we're hoping to add to that for Lily Rose for when she's older."

Tomás said that Ann and Paddy are doing "as well as can be expected after burying their daughter".

"They're keeping busy looking after Lily Rose. She's beginning to crawl now so she's a full-time job trying to look after her."

Tomás said that Ann, who was also injured in the car crash, is doing "okay".

Tomás Whelan with cousin Lily Rose
Tomás Whelan with cousin Lily Rose

"Physically she's doing ok. Mentally she's coping as well as can be expected."

He said that the community in Tipperary have been a "fantastic support".

"It's such a tight-knit community. The whole town was rocked by the tragedy when Nicola died."

He added that Lily Rose is "everybody's bright light" as they come to terms with Nicola's death.

"She's a handful. She's just like her mother. She has wild orange hair that's always standing up and she's such a happy, bubbly baby.

"She's everybody's bright light and keeps everybody on their feet."

You can donate to Lily Rose's fund here

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