Christmas has come early for Tallaght boy Tadhg Fearon, who is back playing his favourite sports thanks to kind-hearted surgeons.
Tadhg (4), from Aylesbury, who suffered from hip dislocation, is among the lucky children who have had a life-changing operation carried out by a team of doctors who give their time for free.
Pat Kiely, an orthopaedic surgeon at Our Lady's Hospital Crumlin, founded the Straight Ahead charity six years ago in response to the delays faced by children who needed time-critical orthopaedic operations on their spines, hips and knees.
He heads a group of surgeons who carry out operations at weekends, at no cost, on some of these children whose conditions would otherwise deteriorate further.
Tadhg's mother, Alison, said he was diagnosed with developing hip dysplasia in September last year and needed the surgery.
"It was carried out by surgeon Pat O' Toole. The five-hour operation involved the insertion of two pins. Tadhg was in a brace for weeks afterwards," she said.
The longer Tadgh waited for the surgery, the greater risk of avoidable complications.
Straight Ahead is organising its Santa Cycle fundraising event on Sunday, December 3, and is calling on cyclists of all levels of ability to turn out.
"We've helped well over 100 kids so far," said Pat.
The cycle starts at 5pm in the Phoenix Park and ends at The Laurels pub in Condalkin. To register, log visit the events section at www.cmrf.org