The annual “Liz and Noel’s Lunch” for Chernobyl Children International saw heart wrenching stories of Ukranian children born with disabilities as a result of the nuclear disaster.
A video released at the event told the harrowing story of a young girl called Nastia and her mother who make use of the charity’s community care programme.
Nastia was born with a hydrocephalic condition as a result of her mother’s exposure to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.
Nastia underwent a procedure to provide her with a shunt which went “radically wrong” and caused a major brain infection.
As a result, Nastia was left with severe brain damage which causes her to have several convulsions a day.
The funds raised through events like the annual lunch allow Chernobyl Children International to provide the essential medicine, general care and nursing care for children like Nastia.
The video also displays footage of a one day old baby who was born with just a partially formed heart.
He was expected to only live for a couple of hours. However, Irish doctor Bill Novick and the charity’s cardiac team were in Ukraine on the night and managed to save his life.
They worked through the night in shifts to carry out the surgery which they successfully performed.
The team would not have been able to be there were it not for the vital funds raised at Liz and Noel’s Chernobyl lunch last year.
The annual lunch was hosted by Chernobyl Children International board directors Liz O’Donnell and businessman Noel Kelly.
Speaking ahead of the lunch Liz O’Donnell said, “Adi Roche and Chernobyl Children International are wholly dependent on the support of individuals and corporate donors to sustain their critical lifesaving work.
“It would be too easy to dispatch the suffering and unmet needs of those affected by the worst nuclear disaster to history.
“For three decades Adi Roche has not only provided medical and humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable children in Belarus and Ukraine she has, through her advocacy, kept the focus on the environmental health and social fallout of the Chernobyl disaster. It is a privilege to support her important work with this event each year,” she said.
Appearances were made by Pat Kenny, 2FM broadcaster Dave Fanning, style gurus Lisa Fitzpatrick and Yvonne Connolly, along with Operation Transformation’s Dr. Ciara Kelly.