'Our gift from Emmeline': Billy Holland and his wife announce birth of their son

'Our gift from Emmeline': Billy Holland and his wife announce birth of their son
Billy Holland, his wife Lanlih and newborn son Matthew Conor Holland.

MUNSTER forward Billy Holland and his wife Lanlih have announced the birth of their son, Matthew Conor Holland.

Taking to social media the rugby star expressed his admiration for his wife, saying he was "so proud of her".

Revealing the name of their new son, Billy said Matthew is a "gift from Emmeline".

Last year, the couple experienced the harrowing loss of their first-born child, Emmeline.

The little girl was born with a rare genetic disorder called Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome, as well as other health issues before she passed away, one day shy of six months old, last May.

Billy Holland and Lanlih Keane, with their late daughter Emmeline. 
Billy Holland and Lanlih Keane, with their late daughter Emmeline. 

After her passing, the couple decided to honour her memory by setting up a GoFundMe page to raise money for very sick children in Ireland and some of the incredible facilities that support them and their families.

On the fundraising page, the couple paid tribute to the medical teams who supported them during a very bleak time.

"They saw us go through the darkest of days, days that no family of a newborn should be faced with," they said.

It was this exceptional level of care that inspired the campaign, which raised over €550,000.

"This was not about us as parents, this was about Emmeline and Emmeline's life. We wanted to live each day to the fullest, Emmeline deserved it.

"We never knew the community of support required for families of very sick children. We want to help other children like Emmeline."

The couple's original goal was to raise €100,000 to be split between Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin and Cork University Hospital (children's wards), as well as funding a room in the Ronald McDonald house.

Last month, the couple expressed their sincere gratitude to everyone who donated and helped them meet and far exceed their initial goal.

"We have started our meetings with the charities about what the money will be used for and we are so excited thinking about the tangible impact this money is going to make to sick children and their families," the couple said.

"We couldn't be any prouder of Emmeline and her legacy," they continued.

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