Quest to make little Cork girl Alana’s life easier

Three year old Alana Sochan features in the next episode of The Big Life Fix on RTE 1 this Wednesday
Quest to make little Cork girl Alana’s life easier

HELP: Alana Reid Sochan with her mother Rachel and father Greg in Big Life Fix

THREE-year-old Cork girl Alana Reid Sochan has butterfly syndrome and her parents need to be constantly vigilant with her.

If she even lightly touches or brushes against something the wrong way, it can result in a serious wound or blister.

If she scratches her skin while she sleeps, she could cause irreparable damage. Her parents are monitoring her 24 hours a day.

Alana, from Knockgraha, features in the next episode of Big Life Fix on RTÉ1 on Wednesday at 9.35pm, as engineer Shane Phelan tries to build a system that allows her to safely sleep in her own room.

Alana was born with the rare condition, officially known as epidermolysis bullosa, which manifests itself through severely delicate skin. The condition often requires heavy medication such as morphine to ease the physical pain.

She also isn’t able to play outside, as her parents can’t find shoes that will fit over her bulky bandages. In the programme, Shane gathers a team of experts to help him, as they try to create something comfortable and safe for Alana to walk in.

Also in the episode, the experts work with a farmer who lost both his legs in a tragic farming accident.

Designer and inventor James Carrigan and electronics engineer Chiara Cavarra meet Kevin McGarry, a 31-year-old farmer from Roscommon, who was the victim of the horrific accident.

Kevin wants a hobby to get him off the farm and socialising, and has decided he would like to start cycling.

But just how difficult is it to build a bike for a man with no legs?

If James and Chiara can find a way for Kevin to balance, they’re on the right track.

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