independent

Monday 14 October 2019

'I want to see my children grow up'

Appeal to fund mum of three's life saving surgery

Claire Malone.
Claire Malone.

Pádraig Byrne

A major fundraising campaign is being launched in a bid to get life saving surgery for 2018 Wexford Person of the Year Claire Malone.

The 31 year-old mother of three requires vital surgery to correct post-pneumonectomy syndrome arising from a right lung removal in 2014. The procedure involves inserting a prosthetic gel bag into the cavity and repositioning the heart and is said to be 'life-saving'.

According to those behind the 'Respect - fund for Claire' campaign, 'the HSE does not have the expertise to perform this essential procedure and so we must raise the funds necessary for the operation to be performed in the Cardiac Department of the Mater Private Hospital.'

Described as a 'real giver in life' Claire was the brains behind the Wexford People Helping People group, which she set up with the simple idea of creating a community Christmas Day Dinner for those who are alone or struggling. The event has been a huge success for the past three years. Sadly though, throughout this time, Claire has had her own health issues. Despite this and trying to raise a young family, ranging in age from 13 down to 18 months, she continued her vision of creating a sense of community in Wexford, never shying away from her commitment to the project that she started.

For the past four years, Claire has not been able to lie flat due to compression of her airways. She is forced to sleep propped up. Her heart has moved into her right armpit area, twisting the vessels and leading to a diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension (PH). The surgery is the only thing she says that will give her a chance at a normal life.

'In my case the PH has been caused as a result of the shift in organs and can be corrected via a prosthetic gel bag being inserted into my chest cavity to fill the space and repositioning my organs back into the correct space,' she said. 'To do this - would alleviate all of the issues I have as a result of the lung removal - it will give me a chance at a proper life.'

'I just want to see my children grow up,' Claire said. 'And for them to have a mother that can enjoy life with them and who isn't constantly ill and laid up as a result of unavoidable continuous degeneration of this illness. I hate asking for help. I prefer giving help, but I am reaching out to all my friends, family and beyond to please support me in achieving what is needed to undergo this life-changing procedure.'

A go fund me campaign has been set up under the title 'Respect Fund For Claire' and the organisers are asking local businesses to get involved to help in any way they can. A number of events are also planned, starting with the official campaign launch at The Riverbank House Hotel this Thursday night.

'We know that a beautiful, kind soul like Claire's is a blessing to our community and we are hoping to fundraise the cost of the operation in order to give back for some of the great work she's done for our community and to give her the opportunity to see her three children grow up,' said fundraising organiser Aislinn Wallace.

The launch will be followed by busking in the Bullring on Saturday, a family picnic in Redmond Park on August 17, a show in The Crown Live on August 24, 'A Bohemian Affair' costume party at The Riverbank House Hotel on August 31 and also a 'Bingo Sesh' for which the date still has to be confirmed. Those looking to help can contact the 'Respect- Fund For Claire' page on Facebook.

Wexford People

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