Monday 17 June 2019

'Super Hero' Fionn passes away after brave battle with cancer

Kildorrery youngster's courage captured the hearts of people across the world

‘Memories made that will last forever' - Fionn Doyle in his Garda uniform on his 7th birthday last August. Photo: Daragh McSweeney
‘Memories made that will last forever' - Fionn Doyle in his Garda uniform on his 7th birthday last August. Photo: Daragh McSweeney

Bill Browne

The community in Kildorrery will today come together to mourn the passing of a courageous young boy whose brave battle against leukaemia captured the hearts of people across the globe. 

Fionn Doyle (7) passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family shortly after midnight on New Years Day. 

Diagnosed with leukaemia at just 18-months old, Fionn underwent treatment and went into remission in the summer of 2016. However, six months later he suffered a relapse and a bone marrow transplant in December 2017 failed to stem the cancer. 

Last May Fionn's parents Eimear and Jack were that Fionn's condition was terminal and to prepare for the worse. However, his condition improved and he was able to return home to Kildorrery from hospital in Dublin.

Ahead of his 7th birthday on August 22 Eimear posted an emotional message on Facebook saying "we didn't dare dream back in May that we'd get there, but as the day is getting closer we want to plan to give him the best birthday we possibly can." 

She wrote that like all kid's Fionn loved birthdays and got a great kick out of having post delivered to him at his home. 

"So I wanted to ask for your help if you can and just if you can, could you please send Fionn a card for his birthday so we can show him how special so many people think he is," wrote Eimear. 

Following the heartfelt appeal Fionn received more than 12,300 birthday cards from Ireland and across the globe, with people from America, Australia and South Africa all sending him their best wishes. 

Eimear said that the family had received thousands of cards each day during the lead to Fionn's birthday and his face "lit up" when on the day itself when Gardaí, accompanied by a fire engine, arrived at his home top present Fionn with his own Garda uniform and a medal for being a Super Hero. 

Eimear said she was "blown away" by the response to her appeal. 

"Today was a day we weren't sure that we would ever see - when Fionn came home from hospital in May after spending days on a ventilator, we were told days to weeks at most, nothing more, but today was magical - memories made that will last forever," she said. 

Eimear said that cancer had always been in Fionn's life since he was a toddler so he had no concept of life without it. 

"But today just gave him a massive lift- it was just magical and we are so grateful to everyone who made it such a special day for him and for us and gave us memories we will cherish forever," she said. 

"He knew the post was coming but to see his face light up when he saw the Garda cars from Fermoy and the Mitchelstown fire engine driving up to the house this morning, it was brilliant." 

After a family holiday to Spain in October, Fionn's condition deteriorated around Halloween and the Doyle's decided to celebrate Christmas early on December 8. 

A Mass of the Angels or Fionn, who is survived by his parents and sisters Saoirse and Amy, will take place today (Thursday) at noon in St Bartholomew's Church Kildorrery followed by private cremation at the Island Crematorium, Ringaskiddy.