12 year old Keith Phelan from Youghal suffers from Spastic Quadraplegia, and his one hope of cure is treatment which can only be administered in Germany. The people of Youghal have taken Keith to their hearts, and their efforts at fundraising for his surgery have been phenomenal.
On December 17th last, the Youghal RNLI hosted a Christmas Party Fundraising night to help raise funds for Keith and also for the RNLI. The Party was held in the Quay’s bar and with Rannach, a DJ, finger food and a Monster Raffle, it turned out to be a fantastic, well attended night.
On Saturday last, January 15th, the members of Youghal RNLI were delighted to present a cheque in the amount of €1,000 to the Phelan family, to put towards their huge expenses in their efforts to help Keith.
Speaking with the East Cork Journal, Keith’s Dad, Tony confirmed that they will be travelling to the X-Cell Centre in Dusseldorf on April 17th next where the family will meet with the various specialists, and surgeons. On April 18th, Keith will undergo a lumbar puncture operation and ongoing tests over the period of at least a week. These tests will be crucial in the future prognosis for Keith, as they will reveal the vitality of his stem cells, and it is this level of vitality of the cells which will determine whether or not medical help will be successful for Keith.
Mags, Keith’s Mom, told the East Cork Journal of how they were just an ordinary family like any other. Their two eldest children, daughters Lyndsey and Kelly, were born before Keith and their youngest son, Dean arrived shortly afterwards. Keith’s illness changed the lives of the Phelan family but, as Mags and Tony emphasised, it was not for the worst – their son, they said, is one of the most loving children you could find, and his sisters and brother adore him. They want Keith to be able to do all the things that other 12 year olds can do – play soccer, run to the shop, go swimming in the summer, be able to meet his friends whenever he wants – but whatever the outcome in Dusseldorf in April, the Phelans will always remain as they are – a loving, close knit, supportive family.
Both Tony and Mags said how grateful they are for all the support they have received, and wish to thank sincerely all the people of Youghal and surrounds, not only for their huge financial generosity, but also for the wonderful support, help, and commitment they have given to a family who are, just now, in need of such encouragement.