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22nd Mar 2017

A brave Wicklow mum is about to make a dream come true for her husband and children

Katie Mythen-Lynch

A Wicklow nurse has been showered in kindness after asking the public to help her make some precious memories with her husband, who is battling a brain tumour.

Kim, who works as a midwife, has been keeping her family afloat since 2010, when her husband Padraig was diagnosed with a Grade 2 Oligodendroglioma.

Padraig (33) has had multiple awake craniotomies, biopsies, radiotherapy and a full year of chemotherapy. He recently suffered his third stroke since November.

Having battled to take care of her husband and the couple’s three children, who are all under six-years-old, for years, Kim realised that the family had few happy memories together.

She decided to do something about it.

“We have struggled at times during this awful journey but we have never given up.” the Baltinglass mum wrote on her GoFundMe page.

“We fought a long battle to get a medical card for Padraig, which a local TD helped with along the way. I have worked so hard this past seven years looking after the sick in my daily job as a nurse and never have I asked for anything from this country.

“I have fed and clothed my children, paid my mortgage and health insurance every single month without fail. We applied for the long term illness scheme to pay for his anti-seizure medications but were denied because Padraig does not fall within the Minister for Health’s criteria for the scheme. This was another hard blow along with all the others. I’ve emailed the Minister for Health but never received a reply.”

In recent weeks Padraig has become more unwell and the prognosis for this tumour is 10-15 years. He has no life insurance as nobody will insure him. Our whole married life has been this tumour, it is all that our children have ever known. All I do is work, work and work to keep us afloat, while he stays at home. We cannot make any special memories or special trips with the kids as we are just paying bills and barely existing.”

Padraig’s consultant neurosurgeon has now recommended that Padraig should not be left alone with the children due to the unpredictable nature of his tumour regrowth and the stroke-like seizures that cause him total right sided weakness and speech deficits.

“He recommended that I reduce my hours in order to be at home,” said Kim. “Reading between the lines I detect it may be the beginning of the end of this journey.

“Padraig has begun writing his story, which he hopes he can make into a book that will make enough money to pay our mortgage as that’s all he wants to do for me and the kids.

“He is 33 years old and has lost so much time to this tumour already. I asked him a while back what he would like to do if we had the money. He said he would love to have a honeymoon (we never got one as he was just post surgery). He wants to see New York, he wants to bring the kids to Disneyland and make magic memories.

“I have promised him that I will do my best to try and make something happen for him. I’m so sick of this tumour it has not only invaded Padraig’s brain but also invaded our lives.”

Touched by Kim’s heartbreakingly honest account of what her family are going through, friends and strangers alike began donating money to help her make precious memories.

The donations quickly surpassed the €15k Kim had initially hoped for and have now reached almost €20k.

Posting an update on Facebook, Kim wrote:

“The level of support from everyone is so overwhelming. Both myself and Padraig are sitting here trying to comprehend what’s happening before our eyes. We cannot thank you enough for what you have done xx it is way above anything we could ever have imagined.”

To donate, visit her GoFundMe page.