A four person cycling team of An Post workers are taking part in the grueling 555k Donegal Atlantic Ultra Race this weekend to help a little Rathmullan girl with a rare eye condition.
Little Éabha Lynch, who is just 20 months old, couldn’t open her eyes when she was born. She had emergency surgery at seven weeks old after being diagnosed with a rare genetic condition. Éabha will continue to need surgery for the rest of her life to prevent her eye lids from falling.
Éabha’s parents Paul and Laura Lynch will always keep the Temple St. Children’s Hospital charity close to their heart after they saved her from blindness.
Laura said, “I knew something was off when Éabha was born, I sensed it. It was just a feeling, but enough of one to tell me that something was not right. I’ve welcomed three other beautiful children into this world, and I understood the swollen nature of a baby fresh out of the womb, but Éabha just couldn’t open her eyes.”
“When we got a referral to Temple Street Children’s Hospital, when Éabha was 7 weeks old, they immediately booked her in for surgery and the next morning after she was diagnosed she was operated on.
“The surgery was performed on both her eye lids and since then she has had 2 of the same operations & she will continue to have these operations on both her eyes for the rest of her life. We were told that if she had not been diagnosed by 12 weeks she could have been diagnosed as blind, a worrying thought for any parent.”
Even though neither Paul or Laura carry the gene, Éabha is one in 50,000 people who have been diagnosed with this & only 3 people that they know of have this rare condition in Ireland.
Paul and Laura both cannot thank the consultants, doctors, nurses and staff at Temple Street Children’s Hospital enough for their support and they are delighted at any opportunity they can get to not only create awareness of the condition but to give back to the hospital in any small way for the support and care that Éabha and they have received.
Paul and three workmates at An Post, Paul Herrity, Paul Crampsie and Martin McGinley are taking part in the 555km Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra cycling race this weekend to raise funds for Temple Street Children’s Hospital.
Éabha regularly attends the Neurologist, the Speech and Language and the Dietician clinics at Temple Street all of which is an important part of Éabha’s recovery after and before her operations.
Doting dad Paul says there are some key symptoms to look out for with BPES:
“Éabha’s eye sight is not great, she has impaired vision and her eye lids will continue to fall which is why she will need surgery for the rest of her life. BPES although is a rare condition there are symptoms that can be looked out for at birth.
“Eyes not opening after birth, a child having a broad nasal bridge, low set ears and a shortened distance between the nose and upper lid.”
Éabha will be very proud of her Daddy and his colleagues when they complete the race, just as they are proud of her strength.
“Éabha is the apple of her family’s eyes and she brightens up everyone’s day that comes in contact with, especially her sister and her two brothers and we are all very proud of her and love her very much, even after all she has gone through and will always have to go through, she still manages to smile,” said Paul.
The lads and Laura would like to thank everyone who already donated through their sponsorship cards and if you would like to donate to the An Post LK Temple Street Charity you can contact Paul Lynch, Paul Crampsie, Paul Herrity or Martin McGinley or you can log onto the idonate page https://www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/11365701_an-post-lk-wild-atlantic-way-555klm-ultra-race-temple-street-foundation.html.
Full details on their Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/AnPostLetterkennyCharityCycle/