Parents of Louth schoolgirl Zoe Murphy (6) planning US surgery trip despite funding shortfall
Dundalk family are €15,000 short of the €35,000 they need to travel to America for urgent surgery for six-year-old Zoe
The parents of six-year old Zoe Murphy from Dundalk, Co Louth, are planning to travel to the United States next month so that she can undergo urgently needed surgery despite the fact that they are facing a €15,000 shortfall in funding.
The brave schoolgirl, who was diagnosed with spastic diplegic Cerebral Palsy when she was just a toddler, had life-changing surgery in St Louis Children’s Hospital, Missouri, in 2019.
At the time her parents, Lynda Bannon and Eamon Murphy launched a fund-raising appeal to raise the €100,000 needed to cover the costs of travelling to the United States for the surgery and were overwhelmed by the generous response of the people of Dundalk and surrounding areas who took Zoe to their hearts.
"The surgery changed her life,” says Lynda. “She is doing so well and is in senior infants at the CBS primary school.
They have, however, been given “ the devastating news that Zoe’s left hip has now dislocated from its socket as the turn in her knee and tightness in her leg has put too much pressure on her hip and unfortunately her right hip isn’t far behind.”
‘This is has become a major concern so the surgery is urgently needed.”
The family had initially planned to travel to the United States in January but hadn’t raised sufficient funds to do so.
Now, despite the fact that they are €15,000 off the target Lynda says they must go for her scheduled date of April 11 as Zoe will need double hip surgery if they delay.
Her US surgeon has told us if we leave it any later the chances of needing double hip surgery will increase greatly
"If we get the knee rotation surgery done this will give her hips a chance and hopefully eliminate the need for hip surgery. Her US surgeon has told us if we leave it any later the chances of needing double hip surgery will increase greatly.”
They have raised just over €20,000 but need €35,000 to cover the cost of Zoe’s hospital treatment, as well as their travelling expenses and accommodation.
"We are going to have to fund our accommodation and flights but it’s really important that she gets the surgery now. They have told us if we wait any longer she will need surgery on both her hips.”
The only alternative offered in Ireland was for the lively six-year to be placed in a body cast.
"She’s so independent that it would be horrendous to do that to her now,” says Lynda, adding that Zoe was in a cast when she was ten months old. "It would be so much harder for her now.”
Zoe is a huge Dundalk FC fan and Lynda says that the team and club have been very good at supporting her. She also took part in the recent St Patrick’s Day parade in Dundalk, riding in her own carriage in a train provided by Pelican Promotions.
Anyone who would like to make a donation to help Zoe’s family bring her to the United States for surgery can do so via the Zoe Murphy Appeal on GoFundMe.com.