Grace’s family say thanks 20,200 times

Grace’s family say thanks 20,200 times

11 May 2022

A GRATEFUL Loughinisland family have raised more than £20,000 for the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children following a marathon series of treatments for a little girl born with a complex medical condition.

Little Grace Maginn was born in October 2020 suffering from long gap oesophageal atresia.

Grace had to be transferred at birth to the Royal Maternity Hospital Belfast where she spent 12 weeks having treatment between the neonatal intensive care unit and the high dependency unit before being moved to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. 

During Grace’s extensive stay in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and Barbour Ward, the baby had to undergo multiple operations and procedures ahead of surgery at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children where surgeons joined the infant’s oesophagus. 

Throughout her time in the RBHSC, Grace was looked after and continues to be cared for by an incredible surgical team and nurses, who the family have described as ‘second to none’.

Finally, in April 2021, the long-awaited day arrived when Grace was able to return home to the loving arms of her mother and father. 

Grace’s parents, Seamus and Olivia, were keen give something back and to help families who find themselves in a similar position. 

As a result, Seamus and Olivia, along with their families and friends, hosted a tractor and truck run from Loughinisland GAC in January. The turnout far exceeded everyone’s’ expectations. More than 180 tractors, 27 lorries and a vintage car took part, raising £18,728. 

A charity draw at O’Toole’s Bar in Loughinisland in March added to the fundraising total, as did a series of sheepdog trials organised by the NI Sheepdog Association, when a further £1,472 was raised. 

Grace’s parents were delighted to present a cheque for an astounding £20,200 to RBHSC surgeon Suzanne Lawther and to Nigel Kearney, from the RBHSC’s Helping Hand charity.

Seamus and Olivia said: “We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank their families and friends for their unconditional support since Grace’s birth and everyone near and far who contributed in any way to such a successful fundraising event. 

“This money will go a long way in helping sustain the phenomenal work of the RBHSC,” the grateful parents added.