Plans to bring Lily Anna (7) to Disneyland in disarray as bag containing passports goes missing outside Dublin Airport
A Tralee mother has pleaded for the return of a missing bag containing sensitive, irreplaceable, and invaluable medical information about her seven-year-old daughter and the little girl’s battle against a rare form of cancer.
Lily Anna Sebestova turns eight this month and had asked if she could visit Disneyland for her birthday – almost a year on from being diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma – but these plans have also been thrown into disarray as the missing bag contains her and her family’s passports.
Lily Anna’s mother, Lorraine, told The Kerryman that the bag went missing last week after returning from a trip to Slovakia, where Lily Anna was on holidays with her parents and brother and met paternal relatives. This was her first holiday since she fell ill.
“We flew from Dublin airport on June 15 and returned last Wednesday,” Lorraine said. “We were outside arrivals at a set-down area where buses and cars pick people up, and we were at a bus shelter because it was raining. A friend drove our car up to connect us, and our luggage was on a trolley. We saw our car, we ran to it as it was raining and loaded the bags into the boot, or so we thought.”
On their way back to Kerry, the family was horrified to find no trace of one particularly vital bag.
It contains a laptop with sensitive medical information, as well as research carried out by the family over the harrowing past year.
Lorraine also recorded details of landmarks during Lily Anna’s cancer journey, such as her purchasing her first wig, but these will be gone too if the bag is not recovered. Lorraine and Lily Anna’s passports are in the bag, as are those of Dodi (Lorraine’s husband) and Eli (their son).
Also among the missing items is Lily Anna’s Nintendo Switch, which she got for her Communion.
“Somebody must have it,” Lorraine said. “It has our four passports. Lily Anna wanted to go to Disneyland with her best friend for her birthday, but what can we do if we don’t have our passports?
“I can replace the passports, but it’s the laptop, the medical forms, all the things she did over the last year…I don’t want that kind of information out there, it took about a year to get her confidence back up, and I don’t want her to be seen as different to any other child.”
While Lorraine praised most of the people, companies, and services she has contacted relevant to her bid to relocate the bag, she feels Dublin Airport has not been as co-operative as they could be given the circumstances. She has shared the story on social media and reserved particular praise for Garda O’Connell at Tralee Garda Station – “she was just fantastic” – but, so far, all efforts to recover the bag have been in vain.
This latest blow comes roughly a year from Lily Anna’s diagnosis, which was made when her family took her to A&E after noticing a bump she sustained while playing on a trampoline was not going down. Lily Anna has undergone intensive treatment in the past year, and signs are that this has gone very well.
“Her health is good, she is in remission, she has scans coming up on the 21st, but thankfully she is doing well,” Lorraine said.
In response to queries from The Kerryman, Dublin Airport Authority said airport police and Gardaí have tried to locate the bag but have not been successful until now. They have advised Ms Sebestova to contact Lost Property and said they will continue to look for the bag.