THE FAMILY of a Dublin heart transplant toddler are aiming high to thank the British charity that helped them through the ordeal.
Holly Keogh was just 10 months old when she was diagnosed with the rare form of heart disease that brought her to the brink of death shortly before her third birthday.
The gravely ill toddler was then rushed from Dublin to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she had to be strapped up to a miracle machine that pumped blood around her body, limiting her world to eight feet of tubes and wires.
After a six-month stay in the hospital, brave Holly got the heart transplant that saved her life early last year.
But without the help of the Sick Children’s Trust, which provided the family with somewhere to stay, Holly’s parents would have been left in financial turmoil due to high rental costs in central London.
Lisa Keogh, Holly’s mother, told The Irish Post she cannot imagine how they would have coped without the support.
“It was the most difficult time imaginable and The Sick Children’s Trust helped to make it bearable,” she said.
Now Ms Keogh’s cousin Michelle Enright – who moved to Britain from her native Thurles, Co. Tipperary, 22 years ago – is organising an epic challenge to raise money for the charity.
Along with seven others, Ms Enright will climb Britain’s three highest mountains in the space of just 24 hours on May 31.
The ambitious undertaking, known as the Three Peaks Challenge, will see the team, which includes Wicklow’s Siobhán and Mark Moraghan, climb a total of 10,000 feet and travel 450 miles between Scotland’s Ben Nevis, Snowdon in Wales and Scafell Pike in England.
“Being provided with accommodation so close by to the hospital was priceless for Lisa and Alan,” Ms Enright said. “Without The Sick Children’s Trust, they would have spent a fortune paying for accommodation in central London, for so many months.
“They also have two other children and it was lovely that the house could also accommodate them when they came to visit their sister in hospital.”
To donate to the Holly’s Three Peak Challenge team, which has already raised over £6,700, visit http://www.justgiving.com/teams/Hollys3peakschallenge