Week 5:

 

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Our Feel Good Friday Fairy has hit Waterford with visits to @thevaultwaterford and @wintervalonice 😍❄️❄️ #FeelGoodFriday

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Week 4:

The penultimate Feel Good Friday of November sees us shine a spotlight on two inspiration families, the Byrnes and the Fentons from Tallow, Co. Waterford. When we received the following letter some weeks back we knew we had to shine a spotlight on these inspirational heroes…

Annmarie and Sean Byrne’s beautiful red haired little girl, Emily, was diagnosed at three months with a rare liver condition called biliary atresia. Annmarie and Sean are the nicest couple you could meet. Both John, my husband and I have been friends with them for years and grew up together. The diagnosis was an awful shock for them and the next 17 months were mostly spent in hospitals in Cork, Dublin and London while their little boy Cormac waited at home for them. 

Emily underwent an initial unsuccessful surgery in September 2018 and it became clear that she needed a liver transplant and was placed on the transplant list.

My husband, John, made the decision to put himself forward as a live donor for Emily in Jan 2018. He underwent numerous detailed assessments in Kings College Hospital London. John adjusted his lifestyle, lost nearly 3 stone, became the healthiest person I know and was 100% focused on being Emily’s donor to save her life. 2018 was an indescribable tough year for Emily and her family. John continued on his quest to become Emily’s donor, having his bloods monitored and staying in tip top shape. Both Emily and John had to be as healthy as possible in order for the transplant to take place. 

The transplant was to go ahead in Sept 2018 but unfortunatly it was postponed. I remember driving home with John in silence while we both sobbed. I cant imagine how Sean and Annmarie felt.

We regrouped and another date in November was scheduled. Unfortunately this was postponed also, another blow and all the time Emily was deteriorating. Emily was now in hospital in CUH fulltime, allowed home for a few hours on Christmas Day 2018 to celebrate Santa with her 2 year old brother Cormac.

Emily was transferred to Crumlin on St. Stephen’s Day 2018 and remained there until she traveled on 10th January 2019 to London when the transplant, 3rd time lucky, took place.
John was amazing in the run up to the transplant, he always remained cool,calm and determined, even over the Xmas holidays he didn’t have one sweet from the tins of Roses!

On 11th Jan When John was walking down to surgery at 8am he was laughing and joking with the nurses and turned around to me and said go upto Annmarie and Sean and make sure Emily is ok. What a man!

It was only when the surgeons could visibly see Johns liver did they know that he was a true match for Emily. Thankfully he was and Emily was sent down to surgery at 10am. That day went by in a blur. Sitting in a café, walking in a London park, making small talk whilst staring at our phones. 

When John came out of surgery in ICU the first thing he asked pulling down his oxygen mask was how was Emily and did she go down for surgery. John always thinks of everyone else but himself.

The surgeons removed approx 20% of John’s liver and transplanted to Emily. Emily spent 6 weeks post transplant in hospital in London, she had a few complications and had to go for a 2nd surgery, before coming back to crumlin for another few weeks in February. John had to remain in London for four weeks post surgery. Again, he was always upbeat and positive.

John took three to four months to recover fully from major transplant surgery. John loves horses and three months to the date of surgery he was back in the saddle! Shortly after he was back to his winning ways showjunping & eventing. Always so humble about what he had done for Emily. He returned to work as a diver with the Irish Naval Service after 5 months and recently passed a full medical to return to diving. 

We celebrated Emily’s 2nd birthday in June, she is such a happy toddler, singing, dancing, running & racing with a magic smile and a mischevious glint in her eye.
Hospital appointments will always be a part of Emily’s life and she will be continued to be monitored. She is such a fighter and so strong & brave. 

It seems hard to believe that it all happened, and to have such a successful outcome is beyond words. Johns generosity, commitment and courage is to be admired. To this day if you ask him why did he chose to do it he will say “because I could save a life, why not?”

Annmarie & Sean are probably the bravest people I know. Not once in all the months did I hear them complain. They always kept upbeat, found remarkable strength from somewhere and just focused on getting Emily better. Cormac, their son, was always at the forefront of their minds and any spare minute they had they were on Skype blowing kisses to him. A truely remarkable couple.

These guys are true life heroes! This story has a happy ending but I am so aware that not everyone is as lucky. This Christmas will be so different in all our houses. I’m sure John will eat plenty of tins of roses and consume a few beverages! While Emily and Cormac will eagerly await Santa’s visit at home on Christmas Eve. How special is that?

Check out what happened when Shoangh surprised the family live on air earlier this morning…

With a trip to Fota Wildlife Park and Fota Island Resort on the cards, a little dress-uo was required. Obviously.

After a joy-filled road trip, the families had landed in Cork!

Week 3:

 

Our third Feel Good Friday of November sees us spend the day with Ciaran, Katie, Aila and Evie from Graiguecullen, Carlow town.

The family was nominated by an old college friend, Pete, who saw the family’s life play out on social media over the past year.

The letter read:

Katie Delaney is a friend of mine from college, I don’t know her very well, like a lot of college friends I see their lives play out on social media. Katie has had a tough year, here’s just a taste of what she’s been through… in October 2018, Katie got the news that every mother dreads. After one trip to St. Lukes in Kilkenny, five trips to UHW and seven journeys to Holles Street in Dublin she found out her baby would need to fight hard to have a chance of making it into this world.

Katie’s baby was diagnosed with a Cystic Hygroma, a large fluid-filled sac on her face and neck. When I saw her post on Facebook it really struck a cord. She ended it with, “For as much as she’s fighting we’ll fight out here, I know my gut and at 28 weeks she didn’t deserve to battle this world just yet.”,

After a very stressful pregnancy Evie was born on December 5th. 43 amazing people worked together in one theatre to ensure she made it into this world. She needed a tracheostomy and was sedated for four days.

 Evie was 12 weeks when she left her room in the hospital for the first time and finally breathed fresh air, and came home to Carlow for the first time when she was six months old. The Delaneys have been through a lot since with numerous hospital visits and infections.

Watching Katie and her partner go through the last year has been nothing short of inspirational. Evie is a happy baby, full personality and it’s down to the amazing parenting of Katie and Ciaran and I’d like to see them have a Feel Good Friday!

Shonagh and the Beat crew travelled up to Carlow at the crack of dawn to land the surprise to an unsuspecting Ciaran & Katie.

Here’s how it panned out on air:

 

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While our Sho was treating the fam to some brekkie, Gaston the singing chef popped over to give a helping hand!

Katie’s special day continued in Berlin Hair Lounge where she got her hair and make-up done. Gorgeous!

 

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How could we forget dad Ciaran, who we treated to a mini shopping spree courtesy of Tailor of Blue Carlow!

It was then off to The Lazy River Café for dinner; talk about #couplegoals!

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Week 2: We treat a prolific charity fundraiser in Waterford

For our second instalment of Feel Good Friday, we treated the incredible Louise Fraher from Waterford.

Louise was nominated by the staff at Waterford’s Solas Cancer Support Centre, who described her as “larger than life – a great friend and ambassador for our service.”

In April 2017 Louise lost her brother Michael to cancer.

In recognition of the invaluable support provided by the Solas Centre for bereaved families, Louise put her organisational skills to use and in October last year hosted a Pink to Make the Boys Wink hair dyeing event to raise funds and raise awareness of breast cancer.

In one salon the event raised an impressive €5,000. For 2019, Louise decided to go bigger and better.

So far, it is mission accomplished with the fundraiser bringing in over €20,000 and counting.

The Solas Centre went on to tell us that Louise’s beaming smile, hysterical laugh and constant messing have “lit up the past twelve months.”

With this in mind, we had to make Louise the centre of this week’s Feel Good Friday.

Check out what happened when our Shonagh surprised Louise this morning…

First, it was off to Hook & Ladder in Waterford for a spot of brekkie.

Tummies full, The Limo Company whisked Louise & Shonagh away to McDonagh Junction Shopping Centre for some much-needed retail therapy.

Baby how you feelin’?

 

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How ya feelin Louise?😂Feel Good Friday continues at @petermarkhair @carraig_donn @macdonaghjunction 💗

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En route to Dublin with our Pink Lady Louise for Feel Good Friday with The Limo Company💗 pic.twitter.com/KHPySsG1wY

— Beat 102 103 (@beat102103) November 8, 2019

As if we needed any more proof of her singing prowess, Louise belted out Dolly Parton’s ‘9 To 5’ with the gals to round out a fantastic day.

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Week 1: We Returned to Previous Feel Good Friday Recipients

We kicked off Feel Good Friday 2019 with a very special edition on Beat Breakfast where we caught up with some of our previous Feel Good Friday recipients.

On November 3rd 2017, we surprised Ethan Glynn at his home in Ballon, Co. Carlow. Ethan has a condition called congenital pseudoarthrosis of the tibia and he had to make the difficult decision of whether or not to have his leg amputated. Ethan was nominated by his friend Daniel. A lot has changed over the past two years and Ethan’s story is truly inspirational.

On November 2nd 2018, we turned up on the door-step of an unsuspecting Katie Murphy in the Ballagh, Co Wexford. Katie was nominated by her best friend Lisa Jackman who described her as a powerhouse. Katie’s son Joe was diagnosed with severe autism when he just eighteen months and remains non-verbal. Katie has faced many challenges but the past year has seen her achieve so much.

On November 11th 2016, we surprised our colleague here in Beat, Alice Phelan live on air. Earlier that year Alice had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer when her son Billy was just one. Alice’s husband Brian spoke about her journey and how much he admired her. Three years on and life has changed for the better.

 

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