The people of Newtowncunningham have urgently come together to help a popular woman who suffered an illness abroad.

The Donohoe family’s sunny Spanish holiday turned into a nightmare when mum of three Vanessa became seriously ill.

Vanessa suffered a severe brain aneurysm on Saturday June 9th in Salou and was rushed to hospital in Barcelona for emergency surgery. Medics managed to stabilise her condition, but it is expected that she will have a long stay in hospital before she can be transferred home to Ireland.

Her husband PJ and three young children have been with her throughout the ordeal, but the family are close to exhausting their funds.

As the costs of Vanessa’s care add up, her friends and family in Donegal have taken swift action to help out with events and an online campaign.

Vanessa Donohoe and family

A ‘Vanessa Recovery’ fundraiser was organised for tonight in Peter’s Bar Newtowncunningham. Locals gathered to pray for Vanessa at mass before the open air music night and BBQ. A large number of guest singers have turned out for the cause, along with Donegal International Rally stars Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy.

“Vanessa, PJ and their kids are great people, all the help and support that people can offer, no matter how great or small will be massively appreciated,” said musician Thomas Scott.

“She’s the most beautiful bubbly nicest person you could ever meet,” said Martin Orr.

PJ and Vanessa Donohoe

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to collect online donations for Vanessa’s Recovery Fund. The target is €25,000 in order to meet the rising costs of her care.

Rachel Friel, who set up the campaign wrote: “Care for Vanessa while in Barcelona is costly and despite insurance covering aspects of Vanessa’s care the family are close to exhausting their funds.

“As a community we would like Vanessa’s family to spend as much time with her and this is where you can help.

“To meet the staggering costs of medical care and to ensure Vanessa’s family can spend quality time with her, we are asking you to donate whatever you can.”

If you would like to show your support to Vanessa and her family, click here to donate or share the GoFundMe page: